To empower local Zambians, particularly those living on the streets, or termed “street children,” to become productive members of society through discipleship, trade training and/or arts and crafts training, and to impact their communities in the marketplace. To give the local Zambians the vision to reach out to their community in this same manner, thereby producing employment and a means of income through local businesses.
To reach street children with the message of hope through the Gospel, and to give them a tool whereby they can become productive members of society. To impact this generation of children so that they will grow up to become the future leaders of Zambia, whether in the church or in their communities.
As of September 2012, there were at least 13,500 street kids in Zambia countrywide. Of these, the vast majority (85%) are boys. Streetwise outreach has worked with these kids for six years and was seeking a solution to the “streetkid” epidemic, or lifestyle. We seek to address this issue through providing life and or vocational skills, so that they can become productive members of society.
Streetwise Craft Co. is first and foremost a trade / creative arts school. Here vulnerable children will be taught how to become creative either in the trade of woodworking / furniture-making or creative arts.
The goal here is produce furniture and art that would be the first of its kind in the retail market. We want to incorporate other materials in our woodworking to create more industrial and artistic pieces for the home. We want to teach these kids the importance of aesthetics, design and quality furniture making. We also want to tap into those who are more artistic to teach them painting techniques, photography, silk screening and any other form of art that can be taught.
All of this will culminate in a “storefront” for the workshop and art studio, a cafe, art gallery and home store. Essentially, there can be more than just trades and art being taught here. Former street kids can also learn serving, as well as making coffee.
Lusaka does not have a middle market for affordable, well-made furniture. Currently there are different stores operating, but the market for some of these shops is higher end and unaffordable to some. We have also found that furniture being sold here is not made locally. It is typically imported from across the border and the prices brought up.
What we are trying to offer is an alternative. What if people could buy locally made goods, at a more affordable price and comparable quality, and help disadvantaged young people in the process?
We will try to draw on as much local talent and workers as we can. However, from time to time, we can host people coming from abroad for one to two weeks at a time, to get fresh perspective and possibly future workers and volunteers. Outside help can be invaluable in developing local talent, learning new techniques and having an overall fresh outsiders perspective.