I had intended to write more about home decorating and organizing this week, specifically in the kitchen. However, as I began gathering my photos, I had a little change of heart. I'll save all of that for next week.
Instead, this week for my Simply Spring series, I'd like to share with you about Trades of Hope. We'll start with a little creative musing.
Imagine for a moment that you are a woman in a Third World country, living in utter poverty. You can't afford to feed your children, and you know that soon you will have to take them an orphanage. Education is out of the question. You don't have clean water, so your family is at risk for preventable water-borne diseases, some of them quite deadly. You may be trapped into the slavery of sex trafficking, or be a victim of domestic violence, or be HIV positive, or be at risk to other societal maladies. Violence is rampant. Natural disasters such as earthquakes often obliterate whatever shaky infrastructure already existed. Perhaps you live in Haiti, which has still not recovered from the devastating 2010 earthquake. Haiti has the highest infant and maternal mortality rate in the Western Hemisphere, and there are 500,000 orphans! Let that sink in. Continue to imagine with me.
You are trapped into an endless cycle of despair.
You don't know where to turn.
You are without hope. And your children... What will become of your children?
Sure, if you're lucky there might be charitable organizations handing out temporary aid - food and clothes. But it's just that: temporary. You need sustainable income. You need to work. Your community's economy needs to be revitalized.
There is hope, and it comes in the form of a hand up, not a hand out.
One little piece of that hand up hope in ten countries around the globe (including the USA) is a faith-based Fair Trade company called Trades of Hope.
One such artisan is Esther from Haiti. Here is her story: