Eco friendly, out of sheer necessity, Gudu and his neighborhood friends have always had to mend old clothes and reuse every last item in his single room home. His family has faced hard times, and they know the value of each item that comes their way be it food, clothing, a cloth bag, container, or even a rice sack.

At the age of 14, Gudu had to leave school and home to find work in other cities. But like many, time after time he was promised his wage only to be left with nothing after months of work. Now as a young man, he has found a place working at Village Artisan where he is paid a fair wage on time, while being challenged to greater levels and treated with respect.

His younger brother, Ali, has now been afforded the "luxury" of going to school with the VA Sponsorship Program and shows great promise as he works hard on his studies. Gudu knows all too well how strategic education is for Ali and the family's future.

Gudu's Mamma probably never knew that the curtains she had patchworked together with well worn saris and rice bags would one day inspire Gudu as he works with recycled papers and saris to create new and ingenious up-cycled treasures.

The joy of working in such an environment is transformational, just like the saris he works hard to transform into beautiful and ec-friendly designs.

Over 13 years after walking into VA, Gudu has expanded to oversee the men's production floor, helping other men to follow in his footsteps.

"Working at VA has helped me get settled and more responsible for the first time in my life. Now my home is more peaceful and I relate with my whole family better"