The Artisan Nation and Female Empowerment in India
Danielle Chiel is an Australian philanthropist who founded The Artisan Nation in 2020. This is the second organization that Chiel has founded. Additionally, she strives to improve female empowerment in India. Chiel started knitting at the age of 10. She realized that she could teach her craft to women and subsequently help improve their lives.
The Artisan Nation
The Artisan Nation is an organization working in India. This organization defines itself as a “nation that is not bound by geography, language or culture.” Rather, it is one that is united “by passion, creativity and talent.” Furthermore, the Artisan Nation has one unifying goal to increase the health and wellness of women and people in the villages the organization works in. It accomplishes this in four ways:
- Providing face masks for the women and their families.
- Delivering fresh drinking water to villages.
- Helping the villages receive more balanced foods in local stores.
- Offering medical assistance such as workouts, dietitians, psychologists and blood tests.
The Artisan Nation also strives to establish financial independence for women by providing consistent work, smartphones, lessons on how to use the phones and financial literacy courses.
The organization currently supports five villages in Southern India. However, Chiel hopes to reach more in the future. Each village needs $10,000 to support the workers and provide “balanced” lives for everyone in the village. While companies can get involved by cooperating as members of the Artisan Nation, Chiel encourages individuals to get involved as well. Donating just $10 can help fund a village.
Chiel first created the organization Knit One Change One (KOCO) to improve female empowerment in India. It employs women in Tamil Nadu, India and provides them with classes in English, mathematics and knitting. These women hand-knit garments for 12 brands from various countries around the world. Since these jobs offer full-time employment, KOCO gives these women the opportunity to be financially independent and support their families. KOCO employed 200 women in 2019, but Chiel hopes that the organization will eventually employ 40,000 women.
Qiaoxifu in China
While Chiel fosters female empowerment in India and poverty reduction with her programs, other initiatives are using textile work to do the same. China’s program called Qiaoxifu has employed over 120,000 impoverished women in the textile, tourism and e-commerce sectors. In one sewing factory in the Henan Province, the workers make about $440 a month. Whether it is in Chiel’s organizations or the Qiaoxifu program, these initiatives help women become more financially independent, empowered and able to support their families.
– Sophie Shippe