Reflections on PURPOSE Jewelry

by Michelle Wijaya September 11, 2015


Looking at my credit card statement, I realize that the last $90 I’ve spent has gone towards delicious Nashville food (so many cool places to try, so little time), coffee (caffeine in an IV, please) and gas (really, we need some better public transportation). I took a quick mental note to cut back on my caffeine intake and then forgot all about it. Today, I found out that it costs that same amount of money – $90 – for a trafficker to purchase a young girl to own as a slave. Ninety dollars. Modern day slavery is truly a frightening reality.

Thistle Farms is a proud partner of PURPOSE Jewelry, a social enterprise through International Sanctuary (or iSanctuary). International Sanctuary works to empower young women that have been rescued from sexual exploitation. This social enterprise offers rescued girls an opportunity to support themselves and gain experience and job training; developing the skills to earn an income is especially important for rescued girls because the likelihood of re-exploitation is high if girls are unable to develop skills to be financially independent. Simultaneously, iSanctuary offers these girls abundant resources and services to help them in a holistic healing process – healing through mind, body, and soul. This holistic approach includes medical and dental care, education – including English lessons – scholarships to attend various universities, employment through PURPOSE Jewelry, counseling, and micro-loans. Currently, iSanctuary has two aftercare programs located in Orange County, California and Mumbai, India. Please take a moment to watch this incredible video about the work iSanctuary is doing. 

Due to recognized international need, iSanctuary has formed a “2020 Vision”: by 2020, they hope to create 10 new sanctuaries around the world in locations including Mexico, Cambodia, the Philippines, and Taiwan.

Here at Thistle Farms, we have the privilege of seeing the finished products, the beautiful jewelry handmade by women survivors of trafficking. Instead of being frightened by the realities of modern day slavery, I am relieved to know that organizations like iSanctuary exist and that we can all help to be the solution – the sanctuaries – for these women.

Written by Tamar Alexian, guest blogger and incredible Thistle Farms intern. 

Twitter:  @sharedtrade | Instagram:  @sharedtrade | Facebook:

Michelle Wijaya
Michelle Wijaya

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