BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—WorldCrafts, the fair-trade initiative of Woman’s Missionary Union, has added to its worldwide network of partners artisan groups from Rwanda and South Bronx to offer more than 150 products this year.
More than Sparrows, an artisan group in Kigali, Rwanda, uses a holistic approach to break impoverished women from the bonds of sex trafficking by addressing their social, economic, physical and spiritual needs.
More Than Sparrows provides an opportunity for women to earn income by making craft items and help them leave a life of prostitution. In addition to craft training, the women meet weekly to participate in lessons about spiritual matters, literacy, small-business planning, parenting and health.
Graffiti 2 Works in the South Bronx area of New York City coaches adults in developing physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual skills. Program components include life skills, career connections and job incentives.
“Graffiti 2’s artisan group is very different from typical WorldCrafts artisan groups,” explained Kerri Johnson, a missionary appointed by the North American Mission Board and president of New York WMU.
“Our group started with WorldCrafts to help create jobs for participants in our Christian Women’s Job Corps/Christian Men’s Job Corps and also in our community. This not only teaches them a vocation but supplies them with income and helps build their self-esteem.”
Johnson recalled one example of how WorldCrafts opened a door for a mother of a child in Graffiti 2’s afterschool program.
“She already had great sewing skills and was in need of a job,” she said. “I was in need of a great leader in the sewing room. God supplied a great partnership for us. As we are able to make more products for WorldCrafts and even sell items in other venues, she will be able to move toward more of a supervisory position.”
To order a free catalog of WorldCrafts products, call (800) 968-7301 or visit WorldCrafts.org.