Craftbeauty from Viet Nam
In Hanoi, Vietnam, where most people are raised to be farmers, there aren't a lot of vocational opportunities outside of agriculture. One stroke of bad luck can wipe out a year's worth of hard work -- drought or flood can destroy the year's crops, and the year's income. A lot of farmland is being purchased by developers of apartment buildings, leaving many farmers with no land, no vocational skills, and no source of income.
Craftbeauty is a fair trade craft organization that provides skills and a steady source of income to disadvantaged women who wouldn't otherwise have any options, including farming women, and women with disabilities. In Vietnam only about 15% of disabled persons receive training in vocational skills, and many end up unemployed and very poor. Craftbeauty offers these women (between the ages of 18 and 40 years old) a chance to learn about silk weaving, tailoring, embroidery, fashion, and quality control, and pays almost double the Vietnamese national livable wage. In addition to giving them a source of income, a skill set, and a safe workplace, these positions help the women retain their dignity, self worth, and confidence.