As our friend Leah Hunt-Hendrix, founder of Solidaire, describes: There’s a flaw in the traditional charity model, which results in a two-tiered system of givers and beneficiaries. Givers have all the power in this relationship. While beneficiaries are expected to be grateful for whatever they receive.
The two-tiered system doesn’t solve the underlying problems that lead to the need for charity in the first place. In fact, it often robs the beneficiaries of agency. Beneficiaries, in this system, are frequently unable to chart the course of their own lives and cannot invest in what they believe is most needed in their communities. Meanwhile, givers are dissociated from the process and the people.
Solidarity is a new paradigm with new rules. Solidarity is about working alongside the people we aim to help. It’s about listening to them and valuing their needs as equals on a level playing field. Solidarity is about flipping the traditional charity model on its head to make real change.
Solidarity gives power to the beneficiaries and the most effective way to do that is by giving work. By providing a living wage through dignified work we are all benefiting as we work in solidarity with low-income people to fight poverty and elevate communities.
At LXMI, we stand by solidarity and honesty. We leverage literal low-hanging fruit, and provide the harvesters and producers of our exclusive Nilotica Reserve™ the opportunity to earn at least 3x the local wage of Uganda. We’ve built a supply chain via non-profit collectives to create an ecosystem that values and distributes fair wages with dignified work. These living wages not only create a more meaningful and effective beauty collection, but they will also help to chip away at some of the world’s most serious problems, from childhood malnutrition to human trafficking.
After all, we believe that fair-wage, dignified work elevates not just our end product, but everyone involved from our hard-working harvesters and producers to YOU. Now that feels like true, beautiful solidarity.