Recently, our governor announced a mind-boggling, earth-shattering, 4/10ths a percent raise for teachers. While my initial reaction mirrored that of my fellow teachers and friends, my shock-awe-horror-disgust-frustration with the governor’s “gift of thanks”, quickly became overshadowed by guilt…for lack of better word. Why?
Because I had *just* listened to one of the Trades of Hope co-founders speak about our reach in to Pakistan. A place where people are slaves to land bonds – often, an inherited slavery. A place where women (as young as 13 and younger!) are trafficked, traded and sold as a means to pay off this land debt. A place where women are not taught to read or write – because then they would be empowered. A place where the only jobs available to women are as maids and prostitutes. A place where maids often become prostitutes to the men of the house. A place where women make 7-cents a day.
SEVEN. CENTS. A. DAY.
While my oh-so-generous “raise” comes out to roughly 93-cents a day…it is far closer to the $1.00 mark than what these Pakistani women will ever see.
Unless we intervene.
I am dedicated to doing all I can for Pakistan, through my Trades of Hope business. We have partnered with a former pastor and his wife who run a women’s center. There, women learn to read and write, and they learn to sew – so they may make clothes for their family and have a skill set, making them employable. In addition, this pastor/wife couple are dedicated to freeing women from the trafficking/trade industry and reuniting families. These women will be our next artisan group – but they are on hold!
While they may be ready for work, they are waiting on US! Until the demand for goods and services from our artisan groups increases, we cannot give them work! And as members of the Fair Trade Federation, one of the first rules of fair trade is sustainability.
We want these women to build sustainable businesses. We want to empower them out of poverty. But we cannot do it alone.
We need YOU!
SHOP: Our Spring Line just launched; every dollar matters – there is no such thing as “too small” of a sale. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! We have items for men 💜
HOST: Gatherings of Hope can take place in-person or online. These are wonderful opportunities to educate and raise awareness about Trades of Hope, the artisan groups, and our future endeavors. Have kids? Don’t want to clean? Use my home! One-hour of your time will make more of an impact than you will ever know.
JOIN: Join me in being a ripple in this pond, bringing HOPE to women across the globe.
REFER: Know someone who has a heart for empowering women? Let me know! They could be the hidden gem just waiting to SHOP | HOST | JOIN.
How will YOU be a voice for the voiceless?