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Item #: 105020
Where this product came from
Jim and his wife were laid off, suddenly and on the same day. Despite their discouragement, they soon saw opportunity hidden in the difficulty. For years Jim's wife had longed to help at-risk women in Peru, women from her country and close to her heart. Their severance money became a seed, the capital necessary to launch their long-held dream - a program empowering vulnerable Peruvian women, lifting them from poverty to lives of dignity and hope. Now they partner with several women's cooperatives and female artisans, enabling them to earn a fair wage and protect and provide for their families. Our partners work closely with the artisans, helping them develop original designs and environmentally friendly products, all of which are hand-dyed, hand-woven, hand-embroidered - handmade. Just as our partners overcame difficulty to pursue their dreams, so these women are rising above poverty and danger to work with dignity, creating circles of hope and safety around their families.
Maria sits in her window, carving and painting gourds in the sunlight, telling stories and singing with her children. In her village outside of Lima, there is spotty electricity and little access to running water. When the power does turn on, her family huddles excitedly around the radio, listening while Maria works. But before Maria met our partners, she was running ragged and ever anxious to feed her family - especially in the slower season when sales and meals were not guaranteed. Maria was stunned when our partners placed such a large order. As they built a relationship with her, slowly hope and stability began replacing fear and anxiety. Now Maria has a stable income, and though she still works hard - bartering prices with local farmers, cleaning, drying, painting, and carving the gourds - she no longer sells them in the city, leaving her children alone and at home. Now that they are safe and well-fed, Maria's heart's cry is to see her children in school. As she saves for their future, they sit together listening to soccer games on the radio, in a new, sunlit circle of safety and stability.