Typically a New Year’s Resolution includes a new goal, a bigger, better self. Ours is a little different this year. We have experienced much success and faced many challenges over the last 8 years (how has it been 8 years already?!). As a Board, we took time to step back and look at the big picture to see how we could be doing this better.
And the answer was in getting smaller.
You heard that right.
Some changes have been beyond our control, like a Development position that didn’t pan out as hoped, and saying goodbye to our beloved Meredith as she transitions into full-time mom of 2. We didn’t anticipate a drop in funding last year. But rather than react emotionally, we are choosing to respond wisely.
Our mission all along has been to empower women through sewing and business as a means of orphan prevention – keeping families together and out of poverty.
This year, we’re making 3 big changes to get smaller:
1. PRODUCTS: Somewhere along the way, products became less about opportunity and more of a burden on our ladies competing for time with their own small businesses that we all work so hard to get going for them. Starting on January 28, we’re permanently slashing prices in our online shop for a mega Closeout Sale. Women have already been paid full price for these products, so all of the profits from these sales will be invested into our skills-training program, our heart. We’re excited for our ladies to benefit most in the long-run through investing all time and energy in growing their small businesses through our microloan program and mentorship.
2. LOCATION: Looking at the budget, it would be too tight to keep running all 4 locations. Our Kaunda Square location is the only facility where we’ve had to pay rent, a water bill, and have extra security because of the area. Bottom line: it’s our most expensive facility. So once this current Kaunda Square class graduates in March, we will pause our Kaunda Square program until HOPE Club grows enough to sustain the monthly cost of operating this most-expensive location. Our focus will be even more concentrated at our Ng’ombe Chikondi Community Center, our House of Moses partnership, and our Muchochoma Village Chikondi Community Center.
3. STAFFING: Life for me has changed drastically and excitingly over the last 2 years with the arrival of our 2 sons. Two kids under 1.5 years old is enough of a challenge, and running an organization simultaneously is an enormous undertaking. I hate to break it to y’all, but I’m not wonder woman. I have my limits and as much as I want to say “more!” this is a season for a bit less so everyone can have my best. Including CiH. Our US staff is back to where we were in 2015: Kathy, running admin (and 100 more things), and me, running big picture ops, communication, etc. All with the support of our amazing Board of Directors and incredible advocates like you.
Our heart is orphan prevention and women’s empowerment. To see lives changed through HOPE. To break the cycle of poverty, one stitch at a time through sewing and entrepreneurship. And we feel confident that these changes to “get small” will have big impacts in the lives of the ladies we serve in Zambia. We’re excited for this year of re-focusing, aligning us for success for years to come.
As always, if you have any questions please reach out! I’m an open book and always love hearing from y’all.
Thank you so very much for your support over these past EIGHT years, friends! Women are being empowered, businesses are growing, families are staying together, and lives are being changed. All because you chose to join us. Thanks for making it happen.
With Chikondi (Love),
Founder & Executive Director
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