As a new Compassionate Entrepreneur, I’m learning the ways Trades of Hope builds artisan partnerships and tackles human trafficking issues that go beyond the initial purchase of artisan products. One of these ways is through a program called “Gifts of Hope.”
“Gifts of Hope” is the vehicle through which Trades of Hope gives back a percentage of profits of product sales (currently 10%). Donations are given to various organizations that empower women around the world, with a focus on:
Fighting Against Sex Trafficking: Sweetwater Girls Ranch in Minnesota, A21 Campaign, International Justice Mission;
Sustainable Agriculture: Donating baby chicks to families in need as a way for them to create a sustainable food source and income;
Disaster Relief: Relief from Hurricane Matthew in Haiti, the earthquake in Nepal, the Orlando shooting, the Louisiana flooding in 2016, and various emergency needs of our artisans worldwide;
Education: Supporting Three Angels School in Haiti, starting and supporting Apparent Project School in Haiti, fully funding Good News School in India, donating supplies to schools in Thailand, and giving to Freedom Global’s Girls School in Kenya;
Empowering Through Resources: Counseling sessions for artisans in need, water wheels, wells and water pipes, bikes for girls in Cambodia, sewing machines for women around the world to start their businesses.
It is wonderful to know that by gifting a Trades of Hope product, you’re actually giving twice – once to the gift recipient, and the other to organizations such as those mentioned above.
You can check out this video to see all of the amazing things that were done through Gifts of Hope in 2016!
What an honor to be able to represent such an amazing, compassionate company that is truly a Force for Good in this world! Feel free to connect with me to learn more about how you can get involved to spread Hope + Dignity.
I recently learned of an amazing story from our co-founder Holly that I want to share with you. It is the story of Kanwel and Mushtaq, a married couple from Pakistan that have been working with women in the slums there since 2005. Together, they work to share love, light and hope in a community where there is so much persecution and oppression.
Our Co-Founder Holly met Mushtaq at a conference she attended with her husband. Holly happened to sit next to Mushtaq at the conference and they struck up a conversation. Holly learned that he was a failed pastor in Pakistan (the Taliban had closed his church) and that his wife Kanwel started a women’s center to teach women to read, write, and sew. The end goal of the center was to empower women to find skilled work. However, many women still would end up in the slums making only 7 cents a day. Even worse, many are bond laborers to land, meaning that they are indebted to the landowner largely due to debt that is inherited. The families are not free until the debt is paid. After hearing this story, Holly asked Mushtaq, “Do you know what I do?” Soon thereafter, Mushtaq learned about Trades of Hope and asked if we could partner with the women’s center to provide a marketplace for these women’s beautiful creations.
Of course, Holly wanted to say “YES!” However, as Trades of Hope follows Fair Trade principles, we can’t say “YES!” unless there are enough Compassionate Entrepreneurs and sales to support new groups. In order to say “YES!” to the Pakistan artisan group and Unlock their Freedom, there would need to be more qualified Compassionate Entrepreneurs with Trades of Hope.
Because of the response so far, we have been able to introduce the beautiful Kanwel scarf to our Summer Line of products. As Trades of Hope adds more qualified Compassionate Entrepreneurs, the products made by the Pakistan group will hopefully grow! If you would like to be part of this effort, please contact me.