This is Liyakhanda. In English Liyakhanda means “Brighter Future.” He is the youngest member of the 94 team. His mother, Trudy was pregnant with him when she joined our team earlier this year. He is now 5 months old. Liyakhanda comes to work with his mother when there are bags to be made. Trudy is very grateful to have the opportunity to earn money so that she can provide for little Liyakhanda. We trust that he will enjoy a brighter future.
Our handmade Christmas stars are the product that started it all for 94. What makes them so special? The idea is simple.
1) Buy a pair of our handmade stars
2) Your money supports the work of our budding artisans
3) Hang one star on your Christmas tree at home
4) Give the other star away to family or friend and pass on our message
Lucy concentrating on sewing bag handles. (Taken with instagram)
Lucy stitching an Ukholo Africa Bag. (Taken with instagram)
“All that is necessary for the forces of evil to triumph is for enough good men to do nothing.“ - Edmund Burke
While evil manifests itself through social injustice, I have challenged myself to remember that the way things are is not the way things are supposed to be.
Growing up in South Africa, I quickly discovered that compassion alone does not change anything. If my compassion does not prompt me into some sort of action then I have merely wasted time feeling sad. This conviction led me to begin engaging with underpriviliged people from a local township. The idea was to gain a more comprehensive sense of what their biggest needs were and what I could do to help. Over the years, I came to realize that employment is the only sustainable solution to breaking the cycle of poverty. I spent many hours dreaming up ways to become part of this solution.
In October 2010, my husband, Christopher and I felt it was time to make something happen. I am South African, he is American. As web designers living in South Africa, we found ourselves uniquely positioned between the township and an online global market. The vision for 94 was born; to train and employ woman from Walmer Township to make quality products and to create an online store that could bring these products to the world. Without any hesitation (or budget) we set out to establish a new brand of social Justice.
Today 94 employs 5 women on a consistent part time basis. Their handcrafted products have been shipped to 7 different countries across the world. Over the passed year, we have had the privilege of empowering them to earn an income as well as taking ownership of company operations. I would like to say a huge thank you to anyone who has supported us along the way. There is no way we could have achieved this on our own.
Co-founder of 94
Nora making bag handles. (Taken with instagram)
“Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will.” - Nelson Mandela (Taken with instagram)
Uthando Heart Bag. #carryhope (Taken with instagram)
Inzolo Africa Bag from 94. #carryhope