The mission of Work of our Hands is to provide hope and dignity for the unemployed through the creation of cottage industries, which produce handcraft products for local and international markets.
We envision a holistic ministry that teaches handcraft, basic life skills, and business skills, as well as addresses the educational and spiritual needs of participants. Skills alone will not overcome the apartheid legacy. The greater challenge is to impart new life skills, and a new way of thinking.
Our further mission is for each project to become self supporting. That is, not dependent on W.O.O.H. to continue. Our goal is to develop interdependent entrepreneurs. Small businesses that can cooperate to buy supplies and market their products, but that operate as separate business entities
need for our ministry
We work with people in informal settlements ( squatter's camps) Many have come from the North to find work, but have not found work. Over these camps, there is a cloud of intense poverty, and worse, a poverty mentality. Above all else, there is a sense of hopelessness that life will ever improve. Many families survive somehow on $2 American dollars or less. Children go hungry, and uneducated thus doomed to repeating the cycle of poverty.
Concepts of entrepreneurism and self-employment are relatively foreign to much of the native population of Namibia, especially those living in informal settlements. Their lack of employable skills keeps them stuck within a highly dependent mindset. They feel their fate is predetermined, and there is little they can do to improve their lot in life. Work of our Hands seeks to change that mindset by developing the artistic and handcraft skills (primarily of women) and demonstrating how these skills can be used to make a better way of life for them and their families. The money earned by these women is primarily used by them to meet basic needs of food, clothes, and education for their children.)
This need exists throughout the country. Unemployed families are everywhere. The need is so overwhelming; one could easily be discouraged from even beginning. Yet large projects
always begin with small endeavors and people committed to making a difference.
CONTACT INFORMATION :
Work of Our Hands / Valarie Garber: creative director
P.O. Box 1514 Okahandja Namibia