Impoverished women from the Indian Ocean country of Madagascar find an outlet for their handicrafts in the U.S. through a project called Manna for Madagascar.
Doug and Monica Cox, missionaries with ELCA Global Mission, work with the women to produce Bazaar Kits with $500 in products that are distributed to churches to sell. Congregations pay nothing up front. They sell what they can and return what didn’t sell, along with the money collected, to the U.S. branch for the project, Manna USA.
The money then supports the ordering of more products to give the women more work, Monica Cox said. The women also receive training, education and spiritual nurture from the project, she said.
Assistance for the program comes primarily through congregations that support the Cox family as missionaries and companion synods to Madagascar synods. “Malagasy women [asked me] to help them find markets for their products because there are not enough sales opportunities [in Madagascar] to support all the wonderful handcrafts they can generate. Seeing the intense poverty here, I was very moved to do something about it,” Monica Cox said.
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