We Stand for Human Dignity & Social Justice
Written by Torkin Wakefield, Global Ambassador & Co-Founder of BeadforLife and Street Business School
Have you ever wondered why some people are desperately poor, without proper housing, adequate nutrition, or a healthy environment? Have you ever stood in a poor neighborhood and wondered who lives there, and why is it that you have the good fortune to live elsewhere? What kind of systemic discrimination have they endured? What social, economic, political, racial, gender, educational, and generational forces are at work that impoverish and limit so many people?
Such oppression creates poverty, sexual exploitation, poor physical health, mental illness, incarceration, despair, and early death. It all amounts to social injustice that crushes the human spirit.
Our mission at SBS is to end global poverty, lessening the resulting social disparities. As an organization, standing for human dignity and social justice is one of our core values. This means that everyone, regardless of who they are, has the right to live a life of dignity, pride, and possibility. We believe in a world that works for all people, as well as for other life that shares this planet, and we strive towards this goal in our work.
We know that poverty can make women vulnerable and strip away their dignity. Our entrepreneurial training upholds the dignity of each woman, encouraging her to believe in herself and her capacity to support herself and her family. As our graduates learn how to start, manage, and grow microbusiness enterprises, women find an avenue for accessing adequate diet, education, health care, a home to live in, and other basic human necessities. Our graduates often surprise themselves in becoming entrepreneurs, recognizing talents they did not know they had.
Financially empowering women has been shown to improve not only the circumstances of the woman herself, but also that of her children, family, and community. SBS graduates invest in their children’s health and education, and in their local neighborhoods and villages. Inclusion makes us all stronger and wiser. In this manner the goodness of helping one woman access social justice spreads to others.
We take delight at the end of our trainings when our graduates enthusiastically don a graduation cap holding their head high and beaming out broad smiles of pride and dignity. Our co-director in Uganda, Evelyn Mwondha says, “We recognize the women’s achievement by giving them a certificate when they graduate, and oh how they treasure them!” This moment can bring us to tears of joy.
This is how our core value to promote social justice and human dignity is alive and driving our work forward. Together, we can make the world more just.
Co-Founder & Global Ambassador
Street Business School
This post is part of a series covering Street Business School’s core values as an organization. Click here to read Torkin’s previous post “Leading with Love.”