Mali, a country about twice the size of Texas, is one of the poorest countries in the world with 70% of the rural population below the poverty line. Symptomatic of Mali’s poverty are the 70,000 beggars in the capital city of Bamako. Begging passes from generation to generation: beggars marry beggars, produce children who beg, who marry beggars.
The vision of the Hèrè jè Center is to stop the cycle of girls begging and provide sustainable income generating activities. Hèrè jè means “happiness group.” Women go from begging to business in 18 months! Female graduates start their own business with a micro-loan.
This cooperative center teaches income generating skills to its members. The 6-day a week training program includes seven modules: fabric cutting and sewing; fabric design with wax printing and tying; traditional dyeing; beaded jewelry; weaving; health and family life; and literacy. The first students graduated in 2006.
Since the beginning, financing for the project has been funded privately by Carol Schillios with contributions from friends, colleagues, clients, and individual donations to her Fabric of Life Foundation which was formed in 2002. Carol lives in Edmonds. This is EUUC’s second time collecting donations for Carol.
Fill out a nomination form and place it in the Sunday Offerings mailbox.