RoHo works with artisans that come low-income areas in Kenya to people that were born into poverty. We work with our artisans to help themselves get out of their impoverished situations. One of our core beliefs is that poverty is self-reinforcing. And we use a comparison of two boots to explain this.
Imagine there are two pairs of boots; one costs $25 and will last you a year and the other costs $100 but will last you a lifetime. Which would you choose?
The most financially responsible decision would be to choose the more expensive pair. However, a low-income person cannot afford to make such a large investment on a pair of boots at one time. Instead, he or she will have to pay $25 each year for a pair mediocre boots that don’t last. In the long term, this poor person could have saved hundreds of dollars if he or she could have just purchased the more expensive pair initially, but did not have access to the funds to make the investment.
This doesn't pertain to just boots though! It's food (buying in bulk is cheaper than in smaller quantities), healthcare (if you can afford insurance then you pay less out of pocket in the long run), education, everything! The more a person can invest, the better off they are. But if a person can only afford to cover their immediate needs, they never have the ability to look forward and invest.
RoHo is working to break this cycle by providing opportunities for our artisans to afford the more expensive boots. We're working to create a middle class in an area where that does not exist.