RecycloCraftz started in 2008 while our founder, Tracy Murray, and her family of nine were living in Zambia as missionaries. Tracy’s heart was quickly drawn into a deep friendship with her Zambian pastor’s wife and family. She soon found out their family was living on a combined income of less than $500 a month. Both husband and wife were working full time, one a pastor, the other a nurse mid-wife. They were struggling to make ends meet while trying to educate their three young adult children.
Through a prayer partnership she travelled into one of the numerous compound ghetto slums near her home and was even more shocked to find a much larger group of struggling Zambians in the capital city of Lusaka living on less than $2 a day. Someone suggested she start a handbag ministry to help. She told God ‘NO!’ She was happy working with children in the AWANA ministry at church; she did not want to work with women. Tracy, after prayer and more conversation with her pastor’s wife, began what is now Recyclocraftz.
Here we are, 12 years later. We are blown away at the impact God has graciously made through this organization and are expectantlywaiting to see how God is going to open new possibilities of hope for a better tomorrow in Zambia.
“Defend the poor and fatherless, Do justice to the afflicted and needy.”
Mission, vision and values
We are making an educational, economic, and eternal difference in the lives of the impoverished, widowed, unemployed, and orphaned women, men, and youth in Zambia through literacy development, vocational training,and discipleship.
We believe that by teaching and nurturing hands-on trade skills, academic learning and a Biblical based relationship with Jesus Christ, that leadership skills will develop and transformational life changes will take place in the lives of those we serve.
Philisophy on Poverty
RecycloCraftz centers around holistic development. This means that we understand that every part of our artisans’ lives are intimately interconnected, therefore, we focus on 7 different areas of change to ensure that we are making not only individual change, but generational and eternal change.
7 Steps to Holistic Change
We are committed to establishing a desire to learn amongst our artisans; giving them resources to learn through access to books, learning tools, computers, scholarships; and participating in their education through classes.
We help create financial stability for all our artisans and their families. They earn funds for basic needs such as food, education, and shelter. We provide financial advancement opportunities that move them past basic needs into savings, micro-loans, capital for small businesses, and greater financial empowerment.
Many of our artisans move frequently between one unfinished rental house to the next in one of the many local ghetto compounds found throughout Lusaka, the capital city. Housing consists of small cinder block homes that may house 5-8 people or more in a 1 or two bedroom home. Multiple children sleep together on one dirty mattress on the dirt floor. Few homes have electricity and most have no running water. It is our hope that one day we can help all our members build and own their own homes with concrete floors, electricity and running water along with secure windows and doors.
Without access to clean water and nutritious food, it becomes close to impossible to finish everyday tasks, let alone have the energy and brain power to further one’s education or learn a new skill to bring about advancement. For those in the group who are HIV positive it is imperative that they eat in a more nutritious diet to stay well. Good nutrition is foundational to nurture healthy change in our artisans, their families and their orphaned dependents.
HIV/AIDS, high blood pressure, diabetes, along with other diseases plague many of our artisans and their families in Zambia. Limited access to medical care and funds to receive proper care cause many of these treatable or preventable diseases to become fatal. It is our commitment to ensure our artisans and their families receive the medical care they need.
Apart from formal education, we seek to teach our members valuable skills that will translate to better jobs. Learning one of these skills can mean the difference between living life as a rock crusher, or working for an esteemed business that provides for your family. We focus on sewing, crocheting, and baking.
Above all else, if our artisans graduate college, begin a new career, provide for their families, or any number of different accomplishments but do not come to know the love and sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we have failed. Teaching, displaying, and fostering a relationship with God is the only thing that will nurture the fruits of eternal and generational change.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ they are a new creation; old things have passed away. All things have become new.”
2 Corinthians 5:17