What is Artistri Sud?

Artistri Sud is a nonprofit organization founded in 2009 in Montreal to support women’s empowerment around the world. By developing their capacity, we help women create sustainable livelihoods for themselves.  Greater financial autonomy and the ability to generate their own income empowers them to exert a positive influence in their families and their communities.

How does Artistri Sud achieve that?

In partnership with local women artisans and farmers, we evaluate their existing businesses (usually small cooperatives) and look for ways to help them generate increased revenues and improve their standard of living. Then we design and implement training programs to develop the skills they need to achieve sales and growth goals on a sustainable basis.

Where does Artistri Sud operate?

We work with groups in Asia, Africa and Latin America.  We have supported artisans, entrepreneurs and small producers in Cambodia, India, Mali, Niger, Peru and Bolivia. In 2012, we are working with a group of women in Zimbabwe as well as two cooperatives in Bolivia.

Who does Artistri Sud support?

We support women because they are the poorest and most marginalized people in the world.

We work with small producers and craftspeople because we believe they have indigenous knowledge and skills which can be critical elements of livelihood strategies – and we believe in the value of culture and heritage traditions. Most artisans are also farmers or other types of labourers, and need to look to a variety of activities to create a sustainable source of income.

Why should you care?

The women we work with are among the poorest in the world, and the income they create from their handicrafts or farming is essential to sustain their families.  And women who earn a living have an incredibly powerful positive impact not just on their families and local communities, but even on the national and global economy.  Women who earn income invest in the health, nutrition, and education of their boy AND girl children, which in turn results in a reduction in infant mortality, maternal mortality, and the transmission of STDs, and an increase in per capita GDP.

The world can be a better place; empowered women will make it happen.