September Box

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The “working women” figures in this month’s box were made by Safari, a refugee who began creating art while he lived in the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya.  As a young boy, Safari watched his artist father create beautiful things with his hands using supplies like banana leaves and corn husks.  While in the refugee camp where he lived for 9 years, Safari came up with the idea to make these figures to sell to tourists so that he could pay for food.  Eventually, he was able to use his profits to help others in need and he began teaching others to create own their own items to sell for food and supplies.  His figures represent the hardworking people of Africa and a spirit of helping one another.  Even though his life has not been easy, Safari says, “I can do something to help people.”

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The second item in this box is an amazing necklace from SoloHope, an organization that helps women artisans in Honduras provide for their families despite desperate circumstances. The necklace is handmade from pine straw and thread, and its profits help artisans overcome extreme poverty in an empowering way. I seriously LOVE this necklace and have worn it almost everyday! Check out all their other great items at www.solohope.org

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This is Safari, working on his lovely creations!
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August Box

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The August box is one of my favorite boxes! We have an exciting item made by two of our local artisans – barefoot sandals! Just in time for that last beach trip this summer. These unique ‘sandals’ were made by  Maria and Yaisel, two women whose lives have been richly blessed by your support.

 

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Also featured are two items from partner organizations that are deeply invested in the restoration of refugees and trafficking survivors in the United States. The adorable canvas pouch is made by The Tote Project, which donates 20% of it’s profits to help survivors living in the US find hope and accomplish their dreams. All products from The Tote Project are made by women in India that have either left or been rescued from the sex trade.

 

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The last item in this month’s box is a granola bar from Providence Granola, a Rhode Island based granola company that employs refugees from across the globe. All the profits from Providence Granola Project are used to fund the organizations job training program which helps newly resettled refugees prepare to enter the workforce.

What a wonderful box, I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I do!

 

 

 

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July Box

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Two of the items in this month’s box are handmade from amazing organizations that support refugees and survivors of human trafficking.  The first is a candle from Prosperity Candle, an organization that helps provide living wages to female artisans in need and inspires women to thrive.

Every Prosperity candle is artfully handmade by a woman artisan earning a living wage and building a brighter future for herself and her family. Wax is carefully blended with the perfect amount of fragrance, then hand poured into vessels one by one. Each candle comes with the story of the woman who made it, from her hands to yours.

You can visit them and see all their wonderful items at www.prosperitycandle.com

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The second item is shea body butter from Fields of Hope, an organization that provides professional skills training, counseling, and mentoring for survivors of human trafficking in order to empower them with hope for a brighter future.

At Fields of Hope, female survivors of human trafficking (ages 15 and up) receive paid educational fellowships for up to one year.  Our job site is located in Charlotte, NC. This opportunity gives her the chance to receive valuable job skills training, spiritual mentorship, counseling, and accountability. The heart of the program is our survivor-inspired curriculum , Whispers of Hope, which provides her with challenging learning opportunities and leadership training. She also has the chance to receive hands-on job shadowing at partnering  local businesses. 

You can see their products and learn more about what they are doing here: www.fieldsofhopeusa.com

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You’ll also find in this month’s box a recipe and ingredients for dhal, a traditional Indian dish put together by a beautiful Indian woman named Shivani. Shivani learned to cook dhal, a dish of rice and lentils, when she was 8 years old and attending boarding school in India. It is a very common Indian dish with many different variations, but this particular recipe is one that Shivani has been making since she was a child. It was so fun watching her put all of this together, with it’s many spices and variety of lentils. I couldn’t wait to get home and make the recipe as soon as possible… and it came out amazing! It was very easy to do, but with such a wonderful flavor. It has become a staple in my house already!

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We hope you enjoy this month’s box, and we would love to hear from you! Share your images and thoughts on our social media pages!

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June Box

The jewelry set and rope basket in this month’s box were made by a group of refugees and trafficking survivors who meet once a month with Anchor of Hope. Each month, they learn a new skill, earn money that helps supplement their families’ incomes, and create beautiful handmade items that enrich the lives of others.  What has formed is a community of women who share a special bond — a sisterhood of both vulnerability and strength.

(photo by Whitney Keller)

 

(photo by Whitney Keller)

 

(photo by Whitney Keller)

 

(photo by Whitney Keller)

 

(photo by Whitney Keller)
That smile!

One of these women is Maria, a survivor from Mexico who is now a wife and mother. When asked about her experience with Anchor of Hope, her eyes filled with tears of gratitude. When she first began working with Anchor of Hope, it was her family’s only income. Now, her husband has found a job and works hard to provide for their family, but Maria has since had new concerns.  A few months ago, Maria’s mother, who still lives in Mexico, became very ill and was unable to pay for medical treatment.  Thanks to your support, Maria has been able to send the money she earned through Anchor of Hope to her mother, who has used it to pay for medicine.  Maria is happy to report that her mother’s health has improved significantly, and she is thankful for the opportunities you have provided for her by purchasing this box.

 

(photo by Whitney Keller)

(photo by Whitney Keller)

(photo by Whitney Keller)

 

(photo by Whitney Keller)
(Photos by Whitney Keller)

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May Box

Well, I am very behind in my blog posts. I am so sorry! It’s only because we are so busy around here… with all kinds of wonderful new opportunities I can’t wait to tell you about!! In the meantime, here is the May box!

This month’s box features two items made by Cuban refugees who have faced unimaginable political violence and repression in their homeland. Yaisel began crocheting when she was 7 years old to help her single mother bring home a more livable income.  As she grew up, she went to school and worked at an art gallery where she was paid only $10 a month, a typical wage in her hometown where factory work is common. She soon found that she could make up to $20 a day by selling her crocheted bags and accessories at the market and was able to leave her other job while still supporting her family. Unfortunately, Yaisel’s hard work was not enough to keep her out of the political situation in Cuba, which found her because of her father-in-law’s involvement in political revolution.  He was put in prison for 10 years for political activism, caught by hanging a poster with revolutionary themes.  Yaisel and her family were soon labeled as criminals, unable to have a job or go to school. She says that she was told, “school is for people who believe in the government.”  Yaisel, like many other Cuban refugees, sought refugee status as a last resort because she was no longer able to provide for her family or continue her education. She is happy to be here in America, where there are so many freedoms she can enjoy. Yaisel says, “I miss Cuba–the people, the land–it is so wonderful. But I don’t miss how the government treats you. Until that changes, I could never go back.”  The purse clip in this month’s box was designed by Yaisel and reminds her of her of her good memories of bright, colorful, festive Cuba.  You’ll also find in this month’s box a painting by another Cuban refugee with the same bright, festive spirit that Yaisel describes.  The final item in this month’s box is a clay blessing bowl that comes from a Burmese refugee who, after moving to the US, has begun working at Moonbird Pottery where the owner has taught her how to make pottery for a living.

Horse Painting May Box

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Seriously, isn’t that bowl the cutest?

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