For many in the developing world, there is little hope of ever overcoming poverty. But Benson Thermidor of Haiti refused to live the story of poverty. Here's how Benson defeated poverty through craftsmanship.
In the impoverished village of Jubilee in Haiti, artisan Benson Thermidor has used his unique skills to both lift himself out of poverty and provide jobs for people in his community. Together, Benson and his guild of artisans craft leather goods and journals to sell locally and internationally.
Benson was binding song books, Bibles, and texts for friends when 2nd Story Goods—a local nonprofit and partner of Jesus' Economy—asked Benson if he would be willing to teach his skills to others in the village who needed work. Once Benson had passed along his skills to others, a journal-making business emerged.
Once connected to the western market through fair trade shopping sites like JesusEconomy.org, Benson's business took off. Suddenly, the demand for fair trade leather journals was so great that multiple workers could be hired. Families were being lifted out of poverty.
Since that initial training event, Benson's leather business has expanded greatly. He has trained over 25 artisans in his community. Benson's workshop is now making leather messenger bags, leather cross body bags, leather tote bags, leather passport covers, and other fair trade leather products. The goat leather they use to make these items is sourced in-country as a by-product of food.
Families who couldn't put food on the table before, now can. Parents who wanted to send their children to school but couldn't afford to do so, now can. In this impoverished village, where work is often unreliable and low paying, Benson's workshop is transformative.
Every gift from JesusEconomy.org comes with a story to share ... of lives being transformed through craft, culture, and a new type of commerce.
Be part of the story of artisans defeating poverty. Let your holiday shopping tell a story. #GiftingStories