Global poverty has persisted for centuries, but there’s growing hope. Many global economists believe it could be eradicated by 2030—if people like us bond together.
Since 1990, those living in extreme global poverty has reduced from 37% to about 10%. Small actions among many people make a huge difference, enough to put an end to it.
“When we created cabi,” said cabi’s Co-Founder and Chief Culture Officer Syd Ryan, “we believed one day we’d affect the lives of women in need around the world. It’s fulfilling to look back at a 15-year history of our community making a significant difference together through The Heart of cabi Foundation…and exciting to think of all we’ll do in the future, as we see this business as a way to bring global good.”
Beyond domestic clothing donation, The Heart of cabi Foundation reaches around the world through a partnership with Opportunity International, joining their established efforts in two ways:
Through our W.E. are cabi Program (“Women Entrepreneurs are cabi”), a one-for-one program that provides a small business loan for a woman in the developing world for every new cabi Stylist who begins her business.
Through our Make a Change Program, where clients round up their order to the nearest dollar or pound, funding school fee and education improvement loans in Rwanda.
As each cabi Stylist builds her business, she provides a living legacy for another woman in the developing world to take hold of her future as well. And in the same way our cabi community supports one another, our Sister Entrepreneurs join together in a Trust Group for training and support. As they succeed, they employ people in their communities, and as they repay their loans, new loans are lent in an ongoing cycle of opportunity.
“Opportunity International’s relational model is much like ours,” said cabi’s Co-Founder and CEO Kimberly Inskeep. “We’ve seen what happens when a group is committed to one another, swapping ideas and having one another’s backs. Everyone achieves more."
The cabi Executive Team has hosted trips to Rwanda for our Stylists and subsequently saw an opportunity to help further. “As we spent time with women in Rwanda,” reflects Kimberly, “we learned a significant portion of their earnings went first to their children’s education. We could relate—as mothers, our first instinct is to provide for our kids.”:
The natural next step for cabi was to add a layer of support where it would be felt most—education. Many Rwandan schools are underfunded and understaffed, so the funds from our Make a Change Program help in two ways: (1) they enable parents to enroll their child in a solid private school through school fee loans, and (2) they pour into schools through school improvement loans—elevating curriculum, physical infrastructure, staff, and the volume of students they serve.
“When women receive loans to send their kids to quality schools, they’re investing in the future,” said cabi’s Director of The Heart of cabi Foundation Amy Taylor. “This better positions them to build sustainable businesses that lift their families out of poverty in the present. Supporting women and education has generational impact.”
More than half of those living in extreme poverty live in Sub-Saharan Africa, and according to the UN, poverty affects children disproportionately, particularly girls. Boys are 1.55 times more likely than girls to complete secondary school; when money is tight, families are more likely to pull back on girls’ education—but investing in girls has huge benefits: for every year in school, a girl’s life expectancy goes up, her chances of being a victim of child marriage, teen pregnancy, or contracting diseases like HIV goes down significantly, and her future earnings go up by 20%. When 10% more girls go to secondary school, the country’s economy grows by 3%. When women have the skills to participate in public life, government corruption declines. While our program supports boys and girls equally, we are especially aware of how today’s girls will become powerful community leaders in the future.
CEO of Opportunity International Atul Tandon said, “Cabi is sparking transformation at the bottom of the economic pyramid. I’m forever grateful for cabi’s partnership, support, and encouragement. This work—this future without poverty—is only possible when we all commit to walking this journey together.”
Join us in taking action against global poverty in three ways: begin a cabi business and be paired with a Sister Entrepreneur, round up your cabi purchase through our Make a Change Program and support students in Rwanda, and purchase the Cheerful Blouse to help provide clothing to women in our local communities impacted by natural disasters or in the midst of a vulnerable life change
To date, The Heart of cabi Foundation has funded 17,150 small business loans around the world, and since the Make a Change Program began supporting education in Rwanda in Fall 2019, we’ve impacted 5,550 students.
Simple, small actions among all of us can—and will—change the world.