As a Louisville based non-profit, we are deeply connected to the community through our headquarters, staff and partnerships. Louisville is our place of operation—it is where we earned non-profit status, became a member of the Fair Trade Federation, collaborated with Beaded Treasures and raised awareness for a global problem. Subsequently, we feel an inherent responsibility to address the need in our own community.
In March of 2014, Kentucky Rescue and Restore estimated that there were 5,678 women serving as prostitutes in Louisville. They identified an additional 160 victims trafficked into the city since January of 2014, including 94 children. The exploitation of women in Louisville is a dire problem that needs to be addressed at the local level with international expertise. Anchal will accomplish this through its Louisville initiative, dyeScape. DyeScape is an exciting, unprecedented project that combats the exploitation of women through a grassroots, local textile movement that is starting right here.
DyeScape, the Lots of Possibility Winner, is already constructing a demonstration garden in the Portland neighborhood of Jefferson County. Its implementation will reinforce Anchal Project’s Didi Connection—a global sisterhood passionate about making a difference for women across continents and seas. DyeScape will strengthen international connectedness, foster relationships and make Louisville a leader in a worldwide community.
Additionally, dyeScape will include Louisville in the international dialogue about sustainable textile cultures and products for an expanding market in socially conscious goods. Our primary objective is to empower women and girls in underserved communities of West Louisville. It is proven that when women earn and control an income they are 90% more likely than men to invest back into their community in areas critical to sustainable development. When girls have a hobby or participate in an afterschool activity, they are 25% more likely to attend school and their academic performance increases by an average of 30%. This makes DyeScape both a preventative and an interventionist program. The sooner we act, the more women and girls we can support.
Our initiative demonstrates that when we systematically address the exploitation of women, we can create jobs, boost the economy, and reduce the number of vulnerable women reliant on degrading work. The women of Louisville have what it takes to be positive agents of change, all they need is a fighting chance. Together, Anchal Project and the Community of Louisville can give them the opportunities that they both need and deserve.