Several years ago I attended a conference in Massachusetts focused on exposing the evils of human and sex trafficking right here in New England. The stories I heard opened my eyes forever to the reality of modern-day slavery, not only here in America (“the land of the free”) but all over the world. Since then, I have been looking for ways to help men, women and children not only escape slavery, but avoid it altogether.
Often, the path to being trafficked is the financial need caused by poverty, lack of resources, or the money to purchase existing resources. I remember at a Christian women’s conference, a missionary to India telling me about her work to intervene in the lives of young women whose path in life was already marked out for them: when they reached the age of 12 or 13, they would be used by their fathers as prostitutes. She and her team asked the fathers in this small village to allow them to train at least one of each of their young daughters to make jewelry and accessories the missionaries would then sell to Americans online and at conferences back in the States. The women promised the fathers that this was a way for their daughters to not only help their families financially, but without the physical risks and shortened life spans which come along with prostitution.
The missionaries in this Indian village took the young women under their wings — clothing, feeding, mentoring, and educating them while teaching and training the young artisans to make jewelry and other accessories. The missionaries sold the pieces online to women here in the United States, or at conferences. The money from the purchases was given to the families of those daughters, keeping the young women out of sex trafficking, and giving the families a way to escape poverty.
Those missionaries were a bridge to the wealth here in America, which families in India long to access — but few are able to.
Trades of Hope is one of those bridges.
In the video below, you’ll meet a group of women/artisans Trades of Hope* is helping with our purchases of their work.
Visit my Trades of Hope store here to purchase the beautiful Sisterhood Cuff shown below, made by the women in this video. Every purchase of this piece and others like it lifts a woman and her family out of poverty, helping them and their children escape the slavery of human and sex trafficking.
*Trades of Hope is a member of the Fair Trade Federation, “committed to equitable and sustainable trading partnerships…in order to grow the global movement of trade that values the health of the planet, and the labor, dignity, and equality of all people.”
Do you want to learn about the despicable evil of sex trafficking? This video will open your eyes to the reality of what so many girls face if they are not given a way out:
God bless you and the families we are helping through Trades of Hope!