Savhera’s production employees have lived in conditions of extreme poverty their entire lives. This, coupled with the lack of education, has created conditions of debt and the inability to provide for basic needs, such as healthy food, clean clothes, healthcare, and a home outside of the brothels. Their poverty has financially excluded them from the banking system, so they store any cash in obscure places always fearing that it will be stolen.
The first level of the economic module–the micro level–is to teach basic budgeting skills and then helping them prioritize their spending based on their most urgent needs. For example, for an employee still living in the brothel, the first priority is to save enough money to move out and find independent housing. If they already live outside the brothel, then we help them establish what basic needs they have for their house. Do they have a bed, an induction cooktop, cookware, refrigeration, a water filtration system, etc.?
The key indicator at this stage is for all employees to have more than their basic needs met. They should live in independent housing–preferably with their own washroom and indoor plumbing–and have everything they need to live a dignified life at home free from environmental and physical threats.
Additionally, they are set up with a bank account and taught how to navigate the banking system. They learn about ATM machines and debit cards, and are taught how to use them. Their pay checks are direct deposited into their account, and they no longer live with uncertainty about how much they will make or whether their money will get lost or stolen. For the first time in their lives, they experience economic inclusion and security.