I am nearly 4,00o miles from home. I work with people. Many of the people who I work with have very little and need/want to start a business. On the outskirts of town thousands of people make a home from scrap material found in the rubbish dump; they don’t have running water or electricity. Attached to their shanties people build businesses; a hair salon, shabeen (small bar), or tuck shop (small items like candy, bread, toilette paper, etc.) These small business are most likely one of the many ways the family is trying to make money. For many of my clients their lives are full of stress and uncertainty. Sometimes the best support I can give is to be a calm voice of reassurance.
The organization that I work with provides community skills training, specifically arts and craft. Arts and crafts may not be a full-time job for everyone but it is an easy way for single mothers working full-time to add a little extra income. Others are able to make a business out of the arts and crafts that they make. One way my organization supports the crafters is by providing a place for them to sell they are building a National Arts and Craft Center. In addition, I am creating an online store for crafters from across Namibia to sell, and working to get the center fair trade accredited.
I learned this is when I was working in Spokane but it is true in Namibia also; being poor is expensive and everything is harder. Think about having to buy toilette paper one roll at a time or walking thirty minutes to get to town because the taxis are more expensive in the shanty town where you live. My organization and the projects that I am working on try to make things a little easier.