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Silence is a self–help project for artisans who are deaf or physically disabled. In a country where unemployment is high, people who are disabled rarely find work. The situation is even more difficult for women with disabilities. Silence works to help their artisans become self–sufficient and earn their living, training team members in different skills. After completing Silence’s training courses, artisans are encouraged to move into commercial housing so that new artisans can be trained. Silence artisans produce incense sticks, candles, greeting cards and jewelry. These are exported or sold locally at Silence’s retail store. Artisan benefits include a retirement fund, health and personal accident insurance, profit sharing and certification of disability to qualify for free bus transit and reduced government taxation. Ten Thousand Villages has purchased products from Silence since 1983.

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