I was asked at a market recently, “So, if I buy something how do I know that this money actually gets to those girls?” A valid question!
Here’s what I tried to explain:
The places that I’ve purchased jewelry from (Starfish, Rahab, Kiran, Village Artisan, Homes of Hope, Kwagala) are doing something really smart. They’re pulling away from the ‘charity’ model (money being donated and passed on to them) and creating something self-sustaining for their women by becoming a business. They’re not offering a hand-out to women in need, they’re extending a hand-up by training previously unskilled women to make something beautiful. Then they give her a job where she can find her own empowerment, dignity and hope. So much better than a hand-out! They also offer her holistic help along the way bringing more and more positive, generational change, but the steps and choices are hers to make.
I’ve already purchased the jewelry that I offer from the businesses in quantity, thereby ‘getting’ the money to her, but when people like you purchase pieces you become a part of the sustainable story as well. You purchase beautiful things, so I can re-order, so the business can keep employing her, so she can keep finding freedom.
A beautiful partnership indeed!
Photo credit: Village Artisan