Master’s Workshop – Colombia

Post a Comment » Written on November 30th, 2011     
Filed under: Community Development
When you hear the words “Paradise Neighborhood”, what comes to mind? I picture a resort town, where every mansion has a private beach. In my version of Paradise Neighborhood, citizens relax in their pools under the shade of a palm tree, sipping iced lemonade, all day, every day.

That dreamy picture is not the reality in the Paradise Neighborhood of Soledad, Columbia. This neighborhood houses about 1700 families in tiny homes, either made of cinder blocks and tile roofs or wood and cardboard homes with grass roofs. Many of these tiny structures house multiple families. 30% of the population is unemployed but receives minimal government aide, while another 50% of the population is living in poverty, without hope for employment or assistance from the government.

There is a small seed of hope in Paradise Neighborhood – it is called Master’s Workshop, a business owned and operated by the Paradise Covenant Church. The goal of Master’s Workshop is to be a thriving small business that produces decorative artwork, provides vocational training, offers employment, and contributes positively to the dire economic situation in the neighborhood and community by designating the profits to help the outreach ministries and the outreach social projects of the Paradise Covenant Church. Master’s Workshop employs youth from the neighborhood, and 100% of their profits are added to the tithes and offerings of the church. This money is then used to reach the poor, the powerless, and the marginalized in the Paradise Neighborhood.

Through our partnership with Master’s Workshop and Paradise Covenant Church, they are able to expand the size of their workshop, improve the work area so that it meets new health requirements, purchase the necessary tools for increasing their production, and hire new employees.

Here is an update we received at the beginning of November from Master’s Workshop:

“The Paradise Neighborhood Master’s Workshop has had two good months of sales, earning approximately $3,500.00 in each month. This is to be expected as October and November are the beginning of the “high season” (that goes until January) for artesian products because of the holidays. They have tried selling their products in new cities along the coast toward Venezuela and they had limited success. Employment is still high – 14 workers currently, and Edilberto Correa, the product designer, has been focusing a lot on new product development.”

Read more about the Master’s Workshop on our website. For additional photos, check out our facebook album.

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