Founded in 2011, Clothed in Hope is a 501(c)(3) international nonprofit organization that provides life-skills education, empowerment, and economic opportunity to vulnerable women in Zambia, Africa. Operating in 3 locations in Lusaka, Zambia, Clothed in Hope is empowering women in a sustainable, community-owned way as a means of orphan prevention. With local partnerships, 10 local staff members, and our custom 12-month training program curriculum, CiH has impacted the lives of over 225 Zambian women and their families. Clothed in Hope is breaking the cycle of poverty, one stitch at a time.
Founder & Executive Director
Amy Woodell Bardi, Founder and Executive Director of Clothed in Hope, was named a finalist for the University of South Carolina's "Woman of the Year" Award in 2012. She received the Dean's Award for Outstanding Service from the College of Hospitality, Retail, and Sport Management. Amy is a 2012 magna cum laude graduate from the University of South Carolina with a degree in Retailing-Fashion Merchandising and minor in Public Relations. Amy founded CiH during her junior year of college in 2011 and launched the program in Zambia in June 2012. She was named a 2016 "Mover & Shaker" by Cary Magazine. A North Carolina native, Amy Bardi now resides in Fuquay-Varina with her husband and 2 sons after living in Zambia for 3 years to launch Clothed in Hope.
What is Clothed in Hope?
Clothed in Hope is a nonprofit organization focused on women's empowerment through sewing and entrepreneurship.
Where is Clothed in Hope based?
Our main skills-training program operates out of CiH's Chikondi Community Center in the Ng'ombe Compound in Lusaka, Zambia. We also have training sites in near Chelstone in Lusaka, Zambia and in Muchochoma Village in Chongwe, Zambia. Our Stateside office is in Cary, North Carolina.
How does the Skills Training Program work?
Vulnerable women (widows, single mothers, women in abusive relationships, women in poverty) apply for CiH's Skills Training Program. CiH Staff interview each applicant to identify women with the greatest need with the greatest motivation to learn. Each class is comprised of a maximum of 15 women who attend classes twice weekly for 12 months. Classes are led by a local instructor, teaching in Nyanja, the local language, for women who are non-English speaking and illiterate. Classes are focused on teaching women the skill of sewing with a strong foundation in business management for financial independence and sustainability at the end of the program. Women are also taught supplementary classes in health education, disease prevention, nutrition, maternal health, and cooking/baking.
What happens to women after they complete the course?
Women who pass their final tests will graduate with a Certification in Tailoring and Fashion Design at the end of the 12-month course. From there, many women choose to open their own businesses to use their skills to provide for their families. CiH also offers a Micro Loan Program option for advanced students and graduates through an application process.
How is Clothed in Hope funded?
Clothed in Hope is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, funded by passionate donors who want to make a difference with what they have, where they are. Our CiH family is comprised of generous individuals, businesses, and churches who are committed to making a difference in communities in Zambia through CiH's Skills Training program. CiH also receives income through the sale of products designed and produced by CiH women, sold worldwide.
Tell me more about Clothed in Hope products.
Women in the Skills Training Program have the opportunity to design and produce products to sell through the organization. The process is a collaboration between students and staff, creating products in trend with Western styles. Women are paid up-front for products they make, regardless of sales. CiH sells products to consumers worldwide, providing valuable incomes for women in the program as well as for the entire organization.
To empower women in Zambia through education and economic opportunity.
To see women in Zambia create sustainable businesses for the betterment of their families and to foster a legacy of hope in their communities.
Cary woman helps African women get out of poverty. She needs your help to do it. - September 17, 2017
Clothed in Hope - September 19, 2016
Clothed in Hope Founder Visits USC - September 13, 2016
Clothed in Hope weaves stronger community in Zambia - February 24, 2016
Clothed in Hope teaches women in Zambia how to sew - December 1, 2014
Clothed in Hope training begins July 30 in Africa - July 28, 2012
USC Senior Amy Woodell Helps Others Clothe Their Families - November 29, 2011
USC retailing student is Clothed in Hope - May 16, 2011