In honor of the 4th of July, we are celebrating not only our own freedom, but also the freedom of our partners abroad. We want to highlight India, Nepal, Ecuador and Rwanda for their progress towards freedom along with the amazing changes that our partner organizations are inspiring. To celebrate these countries, check out our special edition country bracelet sets here.
India is a hub of diversity and culture, with over 1,000 languages represented throughout the nation. While India exemplifies freedom in its tolerance of differences, it has not always been a graceful journey. India still faces effects of the Caste System, which denies freedom to many based solely on their heredity, as well as issues such as commercial sex trade and violence against women. Our partners, The Anchal Project and Purpose Jewelry create jobs for women who have been subject to prostitution and sex trafficking. For Anchal's artisans, 70% of these women are now considered to be the primary breadwinner of their families and 90% are now able to afford healthcare for themselves and their families. We want to celebrate the freedom of these women who work hard to create beautiful products.
Nepal, though small in comparison to its neighboring countries, holds 8 of the 10 highest peaks in the world. Nepal is one of the least developed nations, with 80% of the population living in rural areas. Nepal is still recovering from the massive earthquake that struck in April of 2015. We celebrate the strength of our partner Blessed Hope Nepal as they fight for freedom for women minority groups from the Himalayan Mountain region. Blessed Hope provides economic opportunity, skills development and family training to women who create breathtaking bracelets. We are proud to partner with these women as they fight for a free future for their children.
Rwanda, a country full of natural beauty, is one that knows the privilege and value of freedom. After a genocide where over 800,000 people were killed in just 100 days, the journey towards freedom has been hard and painful. The return of refugees and the revitalization of the economy have pushed Rwanda forward towards recovery. Rwandans also exemplify the power of forgiveness, and the freedom that comes along with it. Our partner Ikirezi focuses on reaching the poorest and most vulnerable populations, while farming the wonderful geranium that is used in many Thistle Farms products. Another partner in Rwanda, Hands Producing Hope, is creating beautiful jewelry and baskets. These two partners are enabling social change and providing a platform for freedom among many families.
Ecuador is a small yet geographically diverse nation. It is home to the highest active volcano and is also the largest recipient of refugees in Latin America. Our partner in Ecuador, Sibimbe, was founded by Becca Stevens and has grown tremendously over the last few years. Sibimbe provides women with jobs, which in turn allow for families to have food, shelter and healthcare. The women of Sibimbe are adaptive, learning how to sew beautiful products quickly and with amazing determination. We are so proud to be working with women who provide themselves and their families with economic freedom through their hard work. This 4th of July, let’s celebrate how far all of our partners have come, and the freedom that the future holds!
Written by Maddie Kewin.
Maddie is an intern at Thistle Farms this summer. She is a senior at The University of Georgia, studying International Affairs and Global Health. Maddie enjoys learning, traveling and experiencing new cultures.