Afsar’s Story of Hope – (Read Time: 1 min.)
Eighteen years old, Afsar is young and beautiful… and painfully shy. In spite of her timid nature, she commands the attention of everyone who meets her. Her craftsmanship skills are surprising for someone so young and seemingly insecure.
Thankful for Fair Wages
When asked to tell us about herself, Afsar speaks barely above a whisper and musters up the courage to tell us she lives with her mother, father, two sisters, and brother. Then suddenly, Afsar’s face lights up as she tells the interpreter she wants to thank us for her “fine wages” and for giving her employment.
To the average person, that may not sound like a big deal.
But Afsar lives in India – home to one-fourth of the world’s poorest people – where for thousands of years the caste system divided people into classes and discriminated against women while forbidding the intermingling of classes.
For generations, people who were born into poverty expected to live their entire lives in poverty.
Breaking Cycles of Poverty in India
As previous generations pass down thousands of years of ancient Artisan techniques to the next generation, Afsar’s Artisan community is breaking cycles of generational poverty by breaking the rules of India’s traditional caste system.
Preserving Artisan Traditions
Young men and women – regardless of their class – are becoming entrepreneurs and Artisans. They’re creating beautiful block-printed and leather designs. Their workshop is providing dignified work for Afsar and others in her community who are learning to dream for the first time in their lives… for the first time in generations. For Afsar, that’s a big deal.