At our church service this weekend, we had a guest speaker talk about Trade Justice Mission.
TJM started working with sex trafficked teenage girls in the Philippines and widows with Aids in Zambia. These women bore the scars of exploitation, but their hearts burned for a better life even though dire poverty and cultural marginalization left them little hope of escape. As a result, TJM launched its Okoa Jewelry cooperatives in Asia, Indonesia, Africa, and the Philippines.
TJM is a non-profit organization responding to God's call to break the chains of poverty binding the least and the lost. They partner with other NGOs to provide micro financing, training, marketing and long-term development opportunities for the world's most impoverished and marginalized. Their Okoa Jewelry line helps impoverished women form cooperatives that create beautiful jewelry. They then market the jewelry and return 100% of the profits to the women in the cooperatives. In doing so, the women build vibrant local economies that lift up their families and communities. Trade Justice Mission also works with organizations and socially/environmentally conscious consumers interested in learning how to make economic choices that lift up the impoverished. (The name “Okoa” means “Restoration” in Swahili. The Okoa Jewelry line strives to restore justice, dignity, and hope through the artistry of beautiful jewelry.)
They showed a video and it touched my heart. To be able to do something for these women is a gift. Here is that video:
After service we got to look at some of the jewelry made by these women. Beautiful! Here is what I got:
My earrings were made in Tanzania. This is what it says on the back of the card:
You know how much I love my jewelry to have meaning. Anytime I can find a reason to buy jewelry for a good cause, I jump at the opportunity! I also love this bracelet:
And these earrings:
And this necklace:
If you're interested in having them come speak at your church or organization, contact them or let me know and I'll put you in touch with Eric Rosenberg (the guy from the video you just watched.) To see their website or purchase some jewelry of your own, click here. They are based out of Granville Ohio, where they also work with sex trafficked girls from Columbus... yes, this is happening right now in your city! I was shocked to hear this. Sometimes I feel like I live in a bubble with no real idea of the evil in this world.
I am currently praying about how I can further help TJM. It's all volunteer based so I know there are opportunities to serve.
Is there an organization that is near and dear to your heart? If so, what is it all about?
Thanks for stopping by,