“Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.” – Gloria Steinem
During the interviews I asked Anchal artisans what their dreams for the future were. Most of them looked at me with shrugged shoulders and blank stares. A few even responded, “I don’t have any dreams.”
I felt heartbroken. I went to Colleen -how do the artisans wake up every day and work as hard as they do, without hopes and dreams for the future? Colleen was also in disbelief. Disappointed and saddened, we did the next interview together.
I asked Anchal artisan Gulshan the same question. Like many of the women before her, she shrugged her shoulders and shook her head. Colleen followed up: “You don’t have any dreams?” Gulshan said no. Colleen followed up: “What do you want for your daughter?” Gulshan smiled and responded that she hopes her daughter will have the education that Gulshan herself couldn’t afford. She hopes her daughter will find a job that fulfills her and makes her happy. Colleen smiled and said, “That sounds like a dream to me!”
I rephrased the question from that point forward. I asked, “What dreams do you have for your children?” The answers were excited, hopeful dreams about education, doctors, engineers, love, good health and happiness.
Why did the artisans have elaborate dreams for their children but not for themselves? I started to follow up.
In a group interview, Sama explained: “We have more now than we could have ever dreamed of for ourselves. We have this work, and each other. We are so lucky. What else is there to dream of?” The other artisans agreed. Maya pitched in, “so now we dream for our children.”
In a selfless nature that only other mothers could understand, Anchal artisans continue to put their families first, not only in their financial investments, but in their hopes, dreams, and plans for the future.
Help Anchal artisans achieve their dreams by shopping with purpose or donating to the artisan program today.