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Around the world, we see creative, industrious men and women committed to providing for their families and serving their communities through meaningful work. In this year’s gift catalog, we’ve included some of the tools HOPE International-network clients use in some of the most common jobs in the developing world: animal rearing, farming, tailoring, and store ownership. In this series, we’ll dive into some of the challenges faced by those in that profession.

If you’ve ever visited a developing country, you may have been surprised to see someone wearing a t-shirt or sweatshirt representing a school, event, or church you were familiar with. And while this may seem like a serendipitous coincidence, it’s actually indicative of a larger global trend—the influx of secondhand clothing into developing countries.

While sending donated clothing to lower-income countries may sound like a good idea, it’s had a devastating effect on local garment production in many countries. Kenya, for example, once had half a million workers in its garment industry; today, that number has fallen to an estimated 20,000. In Mozambique, donated clothing is called “clothing of calamity” for the impact it has on the country’s clothing production. Several countries in East Africa are in the process of banning donated clothes, in favor of growing local textile industries.

And that’s why HOPE invests in tailors.

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