Shared Trade finds its inspiration and mission in communities all over the world. Whether it's in Nashville, TN, Guadalajara, Mexico, or Accra, Ghana, women find strength in each other and in the circle we share. For Stephanie Pollaro, founder of iSanctuary and Purpose Jewelry, the initial inspiration to join the cause came from a fashion magazine. After reading about trafficking and travelling to India, Stephanie couldn't help getting involved in the movement of love.
Stephanie Pollaro and Wendy Hicks are the co-founders of Purpose Jewelry, a cooperative of iSanctuary. Not only does this organization serve as a safe house for victims, but it provides survivors with medical care, education, and a way to support themselves.
The United Nations defines human trafficking as “the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receipt of persons by improper means (such as force, abduction, fraud, or coercion) for an improper purpose including forced labor or sexual exploitation.” 100,000 to 300,000 children are sexually exploited in the United States, and 10,000 women in India are enslaved in prostitution. Purpose Jewelry is one of many organizations striving to put an end to this issue while helping survivors rebuild their lives.
Purpose Jewelry and iSanctuary provide girls and young women with medical assistance, education, and the skills they need to sustain themselves. Once survivors are welcomed to Purpose Jewelry, they learn to make beautiful jewelry. Each survivor working for Purpose Jewelry is paid according to her skill level, and all of them are paid 100% above fair trade wage.
The products survivors at Purpose Jewelry make include necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and rings. Each piece is made by women in Mumbai, India, and prepared, packaged, and shipped by survivors rescued in Orange County, CA.
Be sure to check out Purpose Jewelry on our online store in October, and come back to our blog next week to continue meeting our partners.