(This is the first in a series about fair trade artisans around the world. They are all employed by groups partnering with Trades of Hope, with which I’m a Compassionate Entrepreneur. The text in these entries are the words of Trades of Hope. If you purchase any Trades of Hope product after clicking a link in this entry, I receive a commission. Please see my World Changer post for more info.)
Mae is an artisan in Asia whose parents thought it a waste of time and money for girls to be educated. Only her brothers went to school; Mae would stand outside the school gates, listening and wishing she could learn, too.
Mae was trafficked into brothels to help support her family. Other girls had also been sent to the brothels by their families – none of them had imagined being forced into prostitution!
One day a visitor came by their location to tell her how she could create jewelry for Trades of Hope and earn an honorable living. Mae accepted the offer and is now living in a safe, clean shelter where she is fed and given medical care. Her childhood dreams are even coming true now as she has learned to read, write, use computers, and is currently learning English as part of her free artisan training. She is so thankful to receive an education, but also to be treated as a gifted woman of purpose who can now see her worth for the first time.
Mae and her fellow artisans make pieces such as the Restoring Hope Necklace and the Holly Necklace, both featured in our Spring 2019 catalog, as well as 4 other necklaces available online: the My Beloved Charm, May Lee, Endurance, and Fay Necklaces.
Your purchases of these products from Asia help this group continue to reach out and pour into young women’s lives. Women who only knew rejection and shame now have hope and community, earning a livable wage in a trade where they are supported and treated with dignity!