When you shop with No.41 you are not just buying a bag. You are not just employing a woman. You are not just feeding a student. You are investing in a community-- in sustainable development. You are giving a hand up, instead of a handout, allowing so many to rise up and help themselves and each other. Forever.
Most of the women in our program come from extremely vulnerable situations. At No.41 they are learning to live confidently. This more than a job or a set of skills, it is dignified employment and a tangible way of showing these women that they are seen. We see their hopes, we believe in who they are. They matter. We partner with the No.41 women to provide them with skills training, business training, and access to the global market. The work they are doing matters. Our women are heroes, examples, in their families and their community. For the first time, they are dreaming about what could be. No.41 and the women we work with partner with local schools by giving back a portion of every item they craft to provide meals for secondary student who wouldn’t otherwise eat at school.
It's been said that education is the greatest weapon to change the world. Prior to partnering with No.41 the school was not able to feed students. Hunger is not uncommon in our area and it's not uncommon that hungry bellies make it very difficult to learn or stay in school. Many of our students report attending school only for the chance to eat a meal. Since the implementation of the feeding program:
· Attendance has increased dramatically.
· Grades have gone up.
· Teacher/student morale is at an all-time high.
· For three years in a row, our students have earned the highest test scores in the district.
And the meals don't appear out of nowhere. Each meal is prepared by hand, every morning, by formerly unemployed men who take great pride in their work and understand the value this work creates for themselves and in their community.
From the materials that comprise the products that our women create, to the food our students eat, 99% of what we purchase is sourced locally, supporting multiple small businesses in the process.