While 2021 continued to be a year full of challenges, it was also a year packed with growth and opportunities for our social enterprise. Together, with the continued support of our retail partners across the US and our craft partners across India, as well as partnerships old and new, we were able to launch an array of eco-friendly initiatives and social projects.
We are proud to contribute to the sustainable development of artisan communities across northern India through fair trade employment. Our artisans enjoy safe and stable working environments while earning wages that are approximately 35% higher than the industry standard. Many are the breadwinners of the family and most are the first generation to have sent their children to school, see them graduate and continue with higher education.
Our craft partners operate educational centers in northern India to support children of underprivileged communities to complete their schooling. Over 900 children, aged 5 to 18 years old in 8 different learning centers get the support they need to thrive. They include after school tutoring, distribution of school supplies, educational resources, scholarships, various graduation courses and sponsorship programs.
All artisans are provided with full coverage health insurance. Right to health means all employees access quality coverage which extends from small local clinics to most major hospitals across India. Currently, our partner organization has extended health care coverage to over 2,200 people. Eye and dental health camps are also organized on a regular basis and extends to the entire community free of charge. Preventative health programs are run routinely to spread awareness of various health related issues.
Capacity building is one of the main objectives of fair trade. Under this program, artisans and their communities are provided design and development training with ongoing support. Other programs geared towards empowering youth from marginalized communities include computer training, tailoring, beautification and other technical training to equip them with the skills and knowledge they need for further training or education and employment.
Ethical finance means sustainably building up financial resources for those who lack access to banking services. Over 950 people have been able to start their own small business through micro financing. Over 10 million INR have been dispursed and hundreds of small businesses have been built under this scheme in our artisan communities. Most common of which are confectionary shops and vegetable stalls. Financial planning workshops are also routinely conducted to help artisans establish and maintain savings accounts.