Wednesday 23 October 2013

It's more than just a job, it's a hope for a new future

Image Credit:s Karen Walrond
Last October I had the privilege to travel to Ethiopia with the ONE Campaign. During this stay we visited numerous wonderful businesses that had been set up to allow the Ethiopian people to become sustainable and to be able to help themselves. One of the very first visits we made was to FashionABLE.

All of us women were blown away by our visit to this amazing organisation, you can check out the full story on the FashionABLE site or have a look at my post from last year but in a nut shell FashionABLE offer former sex workers a way to learn a trade and be ABLE (see that word there) to feed their children, build a new life, have dignity, have peace in their life, be a leader and so much more.

This awe-inspiring business grew from one man and his wife living in Ethiopia and observing many women being pushed into poor choices to make enough money to live or feed their children. When they asked these women what they really wanted in life, they were told that they want the chance to earn their own fair wage, they didn't want charity. So that is what Barrett and his wife Rachel set about realising, a way for women to be rehabilitated back into regular life and feeling a sense of pride, community and dignity again. Take a look at this video it sums it up wonderfully in just under 2 minutes and is incredibly touching -

3rd birthday, 30% discount for 3 days!

It's FashionABLE's 3rd birthday this week and I want to be able to see them celebrating their 30th and 300th birthdays so they need to keep selling their wares and the more sales they make the more women that can be employed and become part of this bright future. In the last 3 years the workforce has grown from 3 to 30 making the beautiful hand-woven scarves and just recently a new partnership has been set up making leather goods and that helps another 40 women.

I count myself extremely blessed that Barrett choose to send me a leather clutch bag last week. I look at it and think it is almost too beautiful to use and then I remember that I must use it, as it is the labour from a woman who has worked very hard to make it (both the bag and to this point in her life).

Whilst FashionABLE is primarily about creating new opportunities for women in Ethiopia please don't be fooled into thinking that their products are average, they are not. The business is also focused on only sending out the very best products. They make beautiful scarves, I have about six of them and I will be ordering more and especially as gifts for people for Christmas. At the moment I am eyeing up a Anchinalu scarf in Burgundy and peach for myself. It normally retails at $40, and during the 30% off sale it will be $28 and that means just £17. And yes whilst that might be more than I could pay in Next, I love to know I helped a vulnerable women in the process.

Why don't you take a look online and see what you might like to order? 

If we were all to place just one order think of the knock-on effect that could have in terms of more women being offered the chance of a bright and dignified future.

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