We work to create economic opportunities for artisans in developing communities globally by building small business skills and access to new markets. We help artisans merge traditional crafts with contemporary design to get them market ready. Proceeds are then re- invested in the artisans communities. This project will create jobs for Native American women in the Pine Ridge Reservation.
While economy on reservations has improved, it is significantly lower than the rest of the US. The Pine Ridge Reservation in southwestern South Dakota is the poorest reservation in the US. The tribe lacks resources including jobs, funding and housing. Nearly half of its 30,000 residents live below poverty level, and life expectancy is among the lowest in the western world.
A major cause of poverty in Native American Communities is the persistent lack of opportunity. The Economic Research Service reports that Native American Communities have fewer full time employed individuals than any other high-poverty community. The proposed project will work with a small group of women to build upon their traditional weaving skills and develop new jewelry products for the mainstream US market. AGF will provide design input, skill training, and market the finished product
Through our Pine Ridge project we hope to initiate a program that helps poor Native American women to develop new skills and earn an income. In the long term, the project will aim at helping the participants to run their own small business that also provides apprentice training services to other members of their community thus developing income generation opportunities for all participants.