Friends-International is a leading nonprofit saving lives and building futures of the most marginalized children and youth, their families and their communities in South East Asia and across the world. They put highly trained feet on the ground to find children and youth in need and ultimately get them back into school by empower their families.
Using the social enterprise model, their social businesses support the reintegration of children and youth so they become actively involved in the development of their society. The social businesses enable Friends International to achieve lasting social benefit within the communities they work and good financial profit in the form of stable incomes for the beneficiaries and for the organization.
Friends International sells products made by the parents and caretakers of the children Friends-International supports. Combining innovative design with local raw materials and environmentally friendly manufacturing processes, Friends International products reflect the skills and cultural vibrancy of the youth and their families benefiting from their nonprofit programmes.
To improve the quality of life for families and their children, Friends-International offers parents the chance to learn sewing skills either from their own home or in one of the organization’s production centers. Every product is assembled by hand which makes no two items exactly the same. The goods are then sold and exported worldwide. With the income received from product sales, the families are able to provide for themselves and their children.
For Friends International, every penny counts, especially to children on the streets. Because of this, they strive to keep the costs of running the organization to a minimum. Administrative costs are less than 10 percent of total spending and procedures are constantly evaluated to make them as efficient as possible, so that as much money as possible goes towards directly impacting children’s lives.