Let Us Change deploys more and more resources to involve as many vulnerable people as possible in the social entrepreneurship of the organization. We create employment in and around the homes. In doing so, we give people from the streets the opportunity to get an education and practise a profession in exchange for a home, lodging and a fair wage. In our homes, trained staff support them in their role as chefs, cleaning staff, educators or guards. Besides the work in the homes, Let Us Change has a bakery with four shops and a weaving mill. Here we make bread and textiles for our children, but also for local trade and fair trade in Belgium.
Let Us Change Ethiopia wants to generate income from local trade. For example by selling the products of our weaving mill. The weavers in the Let Us Change weaving mill make scarves, blankets and traditional Ethiopian clothing. The weavers are men from Dorze, a small village in southern Ethiopia known for its weaving culture. Just like the staff in our homes, they receive a fair salary for honest work. They are paid per finished piece so the more they want to work the more they can earn. They work in a comfortable environment, they eat together with the other staff and they can choose when they take some days off.
The materials the weavers use are of high quality Ethiopian cotton from Arba Minch. The weavers work creatively and offer new designs and colour combinations. In Belgium, the products of the weavers are sold at our benefits and markets, in Ethiopia they are sold to visitors (both foreigners and Ethiopians). The revenues of the products go entirely to Let Us Change. The weavers are very proud to be able to contribute to our project in this way.
Since a few years, Let Us Change has its own bakery. An Italian chef trained the staff, and now three bakers are active every day to bake and sell bread. In 2018, the bakery expanded, with extra ovens and machines from Italy. This is thanks to sponsors from both the Belgium non-profit and the Italian partner organization IPO. The bread is sold to the local community. Three of our shops are located in poor neighbourhoods, so poor communities can benefit from our cheap but nutritious injera and bread. Furthermore, our high quality bread gets sold to hotels and restaurants in the area.