Last Monday night, Trades of Hope had the honor of hosting a dinner party for Lucas Caldeira. Lucas is the CEO of Asha Handcrafts, an organization that creates many of our products! Lucas is also on the board of SERRV and served on the board for the World Fair Trade Organization. One of our C.Es, Amy Denino, speaks about how Lucas' story touched her!
Last night, we had the pleasure of sitting down with Lucas and speaking with him so freely about India and Asha. We learned that Asha means "Hope." We also learned that Asha has been around since 1975! Impressive history, 35 years in the making! Very exciting!
Lucas shared alot about India with us. The main cities in India are extremely crowded. The average city has 20 milllion people in 100 sq. miles. In other words, to travel 40 km or about 20 miles, it would take around 2 hours. Lucas also informed us that 80% of the people are Hindu, 15% are Muslim and 2% are Christian. About 30% of the people in India are living in poverty.
Asha has been a sustainable business for the poor, providing the people with the opportunity to pass down a family craftsmanship. Whether it be by weaving, jewelry making or other craft, Asha's goal is to provide a steady income that the people can depend on for generations to come. Currently, Asha is working on something new: recycling plastic and turning it into something useful such as jewelry. Lucas will be providing Trades of Hope with some of Asha's latest "creations." We look forward to that! In the meantime, Lucas encouraged Trades of Hope and was very grateful to us for our mission.
By being involved with Asha, we are able to contribute to a successful enterprise in which families lives are not just changed for today but are changed for years and years to come! Thank you Lucas for your time with us, we enjoyed it immensely.