I was emotionally involved but also felt frustrated in my attempts to create a long term, self sustaining working project, capable of becoming a successful trading enterprise. I realized I lacked the support of a reliable organization on site. The lesson I learnt is that in Africa you can't just improvise, problems can get worse instead of improving if you don't know the proper way to approach situations. It was very sad, but after three years of great effort I had to give up. I then accepted the invitation by the ITC, to continue my work in Africa moving to a hub located in Nairobi, Kenya. There, under the responsibility of Simone Cipriani, a community mostly made of disadvantaged women, was already manufacturing textile items. With the ITC I shared the same philosophy which can be summed up by the motto "Not charity, just work" (so often printed on my bags), that very well expresses the project's objective focused on the creation of job opportunities for future independent micro-entrepreneurs. I must stress the fact that this kind of initiative has nothing to do with de-localizing production in poor countries to make higher profits. I invested a lot in training, personally going back and forth several times during the year with my collaborators, creating video tutorials and providing all the possible support to increase the workers' know-how. They were guaranteed by the ITC fair labor working conditions and a social agenda (including free education and health care) available to all the workers' family members, thus multiplying the benefits of the program. According to the agency' reports on the project's impact, the women in the program have been actually able to significantly change their living conditions.
Source : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/simonetta-lein/ethical-fashion-becomes-t_b_13471198.html