The artisans who work with SHARE are diverse in their ages, languages, and religions, but they have all shown the strength and determination necessary to change their lives. Most received little schooling before entering early, arranged marriages and becoming mothers. They often relocated to unfamiliar urban areas as their husbands sought work. In spite of great need, they were unable to work because they lacked education and skills, or because cultural mores and their family responsibilities prevented them from working outside their homes.
Through SHARE, the artisans are able to earn a living, and become part of a community in which they are accepted and respected. In the process they build organizational and leadership skills, and find increased independence, financial security, and confidence in their roles as artisans, mothers, and community members. All have their own stories of struggle, courage, and empowerment, each as compelling as the other. Here we feature six.