Fabric Of Life Saves Girls and Women from Lives of Despair in Poverty.

Socially Conscious Investing online radio interviews Carol Schillios, the founder of Fabric of Life, this week. The organization’s work facilitates microlending, education and health care in the developing world.

Fabric Of Life was born from the Schillios Development Foundation, formed in 2002, having the goal of supporting cooperative development projects directly impacting the quality of life for families in developing countries. Fabric of Life supports three primary activities:

  • Micro-credit programs for micro-entrepreneurs
  • Increasing access to education
  • Increasing access to affordable health care

Partnerships that focus on cooperative principles of self-help, non-discrimination, social responsibility and cooperation are the focus of ethical investments by the Foundation’s donors. Carol, along with her partner in Africa, have used their experience in building micro-lending systems in developing countries to fund educational programs that simultaneously preserve native arts and lift children and women, otherwise reduced to begging, to self-esteem.

Children are given a healthy living education that addresses a myriad of subjects including false beliefs about pregnancy. They are taught skills that maintain the native arts of their culture including beading and fabric design and production. Fabric of Life takes a holistic approach that respects who they are, preserves their native culture and helps them generate an improved way of life for their entire community.

Initially, Carol spent 90 days on the roof of her home with the dual objective of raising funds and drawing attention to her cause. “I was shouting from the rooftops the celebration that we can all make a difference,” Carol explains. “With just a $1 donation per person who heard about my stay on the roof, I hoped to raise $1 million. The wind blew away a zero and me after 90 days.” She accomplished raising $100,000 before coming down to continue her work for women living in extreme poverty.

The loss of a zero didn’t stop Carol. She is proud that every dollar went into the ethical investment of helping women and children in Africa. Fabric of Life is a program that is sustained by the volunteers who help with the website and other activities while the donations are put directly to work in the African villages through micro-loans to individuals.

Patriarchal influence and other issues of micro-lending are also discussed by Carol as she explains how the model of service she uses relies on a channel for the sale of products outside of Africa. “Where there is no industry, we are exporting the products they create, beautiful fabrics and jewelry. Well known catalogers have sold out of product before we could provide more,” Carol explains. Socially responsible marketing helps support these women.

To get more information about Fabric of Life and purchase products, visit www.FacbricofLife.org. Join our Facebook discussion about this episode of the show. While you’re there, “like” our page and stay informed by adding this blog to your RSS feed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *