Two years ago we were introduced to a baby named Ella.
We've never met her in person, but we've prayed for her since the moment we chose to be her sponsors.
Ella and her biological brother Dahelson live at Children Of The Promise in Haiti. Because of extreme poverty and natural disasters, Haiti is home to more than 500,000 orphans. Families are not always able to care for their babies and though I cannot imagine the extreme circumstances which would cause me to go to such lengths, loving parents often give away their babies in order to save their lives. As a mom, this breaks my heart more than I can tell you.
The infants are often malnourished and sick when they're brought to Children Of The Promise, but it's their heart to see these babies thrive, educate the families in how to give adequate care to their children, offer employment to locals in order that they might support their families better, and whenever possible reunited the babies with their birth families.
Sometimes, due to death or poverty, the babies cannot be returned to their loved ones. This is the case for Ella and Dahelson. We've just been informed that Ella is no longer in need of our sponsorship because she and her brother have been adopted by a family in the States and will be joining their forever family soon! Though adoption is necessary only because of brokenness, it's a happy ending for this baby and her brother who we've prayed over for so long.
But wouldn't it be even more wonderful if Children Of The Promise wasn't needed because mothers had the resources necessary to care for their own children?
Through my dear friend Stephanie, I've recently learned about Trades Of Hope, a company which is determined to work towards this goal of helping women support their own families by teaching them a trade.
More than a handout, more than a charity, these women are being empowered and learning how to build a sustainable business for themselves, their families, and their communities. They are paid about six times more than they would otherwise earn, keeping them from being economically forced into slums, sweatshops or the sex industry.
In this way, Trades Of Hope is saving lives and saving families.
The Artisans in Haiti create these beautiful bracelets, necklaces, and earrings out of beads handmade from recycled cereal boxes.
Trades Of Hope works with fair trade, co-op, non-profit, and missions organizations and pays the Artisans what they request so that they can make a livable wage, keeping their families in tact, fed, clothed, sheltered, and even educated.
My friend Stephanie's heart was so touched by the mission of Trades Of Hope that she couldn't bear not getting involved with this opportunity and made the decision to become a "Compassion Entrepreneur."
Compassion Entrepreneurs like Stephanie educate women and sell Trades Of Hope products with the help of hostesses and their online stores.
So what do recycled cereal boxes, orphans and jewelry have in common?
Trades Of Hope, the Artisans, the Compassion Entrepreneurs, their hostesses and their guests.
Women working together to help other women.
I've been so taken with this company that instead of a traditional birthday party this year, I'm hostessing a Trades Of Hope party and asking my guests to go shopping for themselves or for each other by purchasing beautifully hand crafted Trades Of Hope products through my friend Stephanie.
How can you get involved?
Host a party, like me!
Become a Compassion Entrepreneur, like Stephanie!
"Do what you can with what you have where you are." -Theodore Roosevelt
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Stephanie has generously offered to give away one of these beautifully hand crafted Nepali scarves to one of my readers.