Why We Exist
15% of people worldwide have a disability. Approximately 80% of these individuals live in developing countries.
Individuals with disabling conditions often face barriers such as stigma and discrimination in society and in the workforce. In addition, in some countries, they are also perceived to be a burden on society with increased risks of poverty and social exclusion.
Although vocational training centers play a vital role in providing individuals with disabilities with income generation, creative growth opportunities, and an opportunity to re-integrate into society, these training centers in developing countries are underfunded and under-resourced.
Despite the evident need, less than 1% of aid funding is targeted towards people with disabilities.
In addition, some disabilities in developing countries are also preventable. Neglected tropical diseases affect >1 billion of the world’s poorest persons. These parasitic and bacterial diseases cause malnutrition, disability, blindness, and even death, perpetuating the cycle of poverty.
Colorful Minds was born out of the need to empower people living with disabilities and eliminate preventive diseases in developing countries around the world.
Our founder, Shachi Doshi’s experience as a public health and social impact consultant in India led her to volunteer at a vocational training center for artisans with cerebral palsy and Down Syndrome. There, she saw these students making beautiful products but struggled to earn an income and continue their creative growth. Shachi was inspired by bringing these products back to the United States and found that there was a new market for these artisans to sell their products and create a more sustainable revenue stream. Her idea was simple: create gifts that were meaningful for both the artisan and the recipient.
Our gifts at Colorful Minds increase workforce inclusivity, reduce health inequities, help transform lives, and enrich communities. Today, Colorful Minds serves over 600 people with disabilities and has expanded to Cambodia, Tanzania, and Ghana.
We hope that our gifts bring you joy and you are empowered by the choices you are making to support communities around the world. Our vision is to create a world where everyone has the resources to achieve their dreams.
Together, let’s shop together to build a better world, one gift at a time.
1) Workforce and Creative Growth Development: provide a global platform for people living with cognitive/intellectual disabilities to sell their handcrafted items.
2) Investment in Communities to build sustainable job opportunities: Partner with local NGOs in developing countries to support the inclusion of people with disabilities in economic empowerment programs.
3) Reducing global health inequities/prevention of debilitating diseases: Every purchase of our gift sets funds two children in Africa who need treatments for neglected tropical diseases.
4) Investments in Children who have Disabilities: Provide grants and sponsor children who have disabilities/complex medical needs (i.e. medical needs, wheelchairs, etc.)