Season of Change
Posted on 01 May 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly taken a toll on all of us in one way or another. Small business owners have been affected, schools have temporarily closed, family’s have lossed loved ones -- the list goes on. While this season has had some unfortunate challenges and downfalls, we want to highlight the ways this season has created opportunities for change.
As many of you know, the artisan workshops we partner with in Ethiopia and India have had to temporarily close their doors to comply with health guidelines. As you can imagine, this has put an obvious financial strain on these small workshops that rely on orders from retailers like MyFight to make ends meet. Eden, for instance, is the owner of the leather workshop we partner with in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. We had a chance to video chat with Eden a few weeks back, and she allowed us to bear some of her burdens with her. One of those burdens was the stark reality that she would have to let six of her 33 employees go due to the lack of orders coming into her workshop and the inability for her employees to work from home (due to the inability to transport the heavy machinery required to make the leather products and the strict travel limitations within the city). Eden lamented that the loss of these employees would have both an emotional and financial effect on her business. According to Eden, in Ethiopia, it is required that an employer offer three months pay to an employee that they are laying off. This is great for job protection and security, of course, but a difficult hurdle to overcome in the times of a crisis like COVID-19. Likewise, these employees have become like family to Eden and she will grieve their absence from her business.
That being said, we are so thankful for those of you who have placed online orders, prayed for our artisans and their businesses, and continued to support MyFight during this strange time. We have been brainstorming ways that we can help the women we work with in new ways. Promoting our artisan-made products is one of our favorite things to do (we’re biased, of course), but it’s been our pleasure to offer some promotional sales like our Easter Sale and Mother’s Day Deal in order to -- hopefully! -- place another order with our artisan workshops once this storm passes. Thank you to each and every one of you who has purchased or is considering purchasing a MyFight product. Your orders really do make a difference in the lives of the women we work with and their families.
We are proud that our mission as a business is to end poverty by sustaining jobs for women around the world. We also understand that, while we’re passionate about what we do, we are limited in our ability to reach everyone and fulfill every need. We also know we are better together (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12). We proudly support Hope for Korah, a faith-based nonprofit organization that is doing holistic ministry in Ethiopia. They work in the same region as our artisan workshops. If you would like to support the work they are doing to provide further hope to children and families in the area, please consider donating on their website, HopeForKorah.org.
As the world continues to grieve the effects of the pandemic, we hope that we can continue serving you with beautiful, quality, hand-crafted accessories and continue to help women in Ethiopia and India sustain their jobs as artisans. Our goal is to turn this season of challenges into a season of change -- positive change for our families, change for the nations, change for the retailers we work with, change for businesses, change for our artisans, change for the better. Join the change at MyFight.org.
Gadise is 43 years old and has three children, ages 7, 10, and 22. Her education stopped at grade three. Before working as a jewelry artisan, she did not have a job. During her interview she said, “Test me. I’m a very hard worker.” This has proved true since hiring Gadise.