Team of Swazi Candles, a Founding Member of SWIFT
Progress is a goal to celebrate as well as a process to build upon. The mission of Swaziland Fair Trade is to eradicate poverty by helping to create quality jobs for women, while assisting in skills development to ensure sustainability, growth and job fulfillment for producers. Swaziland Fair Trade has been steadfast in this mission, which has yielded some impressive results. To date, there are 2795 people in the SWIFT family, 97% of whom are women. There are also 144 peer educators helping to share their knowledge in growing ethical and sustainable businesses, 77 registered business working with SWIFT, and over 1800 hours of training delivered by SWIFT staff alone.
In measuring our recent growth among SWIFT members, since 2011 there has been a 47% increase in wages and producer income and a 49% average increase in sales. We have also worked to help in training 30 new micro enterprises and generating 25 new businesses since 2011, which has led to the creation of 517 new jobs in Swaziland. The significance of these statistics cannot be downplayed, as we must remember that each new job that is created and every increase in income represents a significant positive change in the life of a women, and consequently, her family and her community.
In reflecting on the progress we have made, we would be remiss if we did recognize the efforts of all of those outside of our Mbabane office as well as those outside of Swaziland in helping up to make a positive difference in the lives of women. Swaziland Fair Trade is more than an association, it is a family made up of individuals from around the world who didn’t just dare to dream that we can make a change, but who are actively responsible for change.
The SWIFT Family is not static. We are continuing to work, learn and grow with each other so that with each new day we can make one more step towards eradicating poverty. To all those who have helped us to get to where we are now and whose ardent commitment will surely help us to get to where we need to be, we sincerely thank you. To all of those who believe in our mission but are just now discovering the work of Swaziland Fair Trade, we would like to let you know that the SWIFT Family welcomes you, and we can’t wait to see the progress that we will make together.
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