From Rags to Riches: Empowering the Impoverished

1 Rags to Riches

In one of the poorest cities in the world, one bright young woman has pioneered a project that has empowered over 450 impoverished women. Reese Fernandez, a 27-year-old humanitarian woman figured out a way to take women who were used to living in a garbage dump into nice apartments for their entire families and salaries that are comprable to those of nurses. She started a company called Rags2Riches in the Philippines that makes handmade rugs out of the scraps from garment factories that would have been thrown away. Before Rags2Riches, middle men were exploiting the poor women of Manila, taking the scraps from the factories, then paying the women the equivalent of 2 cents per rug, and taking the rest of the profits. Fernandez cut out the middle men and brought the income back to the women who deserved it, so that they could feel pride from their work and care for their families.