PURPOSE Jewelry Is Crafting Freedom One Necklace at a Time
Wear a necklace, a pair of earrings, and a survivor’s freedom when you shop PURPOSE Jewelry, where every purchase helps break the bonds of modern-day slavery.
What if the necklace you put on this morning before heading to work signified the safety, financial security and freedom of a woman who survived human trafficking? And, that each beautifully handcrafted piece, made you a part of her story, and she a part of yours. One necklace at a time, PURPOSE Jewelry is helping bring dignified work and a bright future to survivors of modern-day slavery. Their admirable efforts are shining a spotlight on global human trafficking and highlighting the need for economic empowerment to end it once and for all.
Poverty is often recognized as being a ‘revolving door’. This metaphor can really help you visualize the powerful pull poverty has on people in its throes, where the systemic problems that create it are simply not easy to escape. Because of this, people living in extreme poverty are particularly susceptible to becoming a victim of human trafficking, lured in by the promise of creating a better life through work, education or a stable living environment for themselves and their family. Once the reality of the situation becomes clear, it’s readily apparent that the promise was an illusion. The place they are now trapped is much darker and laced with fraud, deception, and violence. This is modern-day slavery.
The fact is that there are more people enslaved today than at any other time in history.
But, change and eradication of human trafficking are possible. In 2007, co-founders of PURPOSE Jewelry, Wendy and Stephanie, decided to start filling in the groove created by this revolving door by helping victims of human trafficking rise up to stand on level ground. They opened the doors of International Sanctuary in Mumbai, India, fully aware that the odds were stacked against them, but welcoming victims of human trafficking into their thoughtful and well-planned approach directed by a clear purpose to end this vicious circle.
“The reality is that without a provision for the next step, approximately 80 percent of those trafficked find themselves back in unsustainable situations. International Sanctuary provides that next step with its four-pronged approach centered on providing income, education, health and a healing community,” they explained.
From their founding year, it was clear that economic opportunity is of critical importance if a girl or young woman escaping trafficking is to be truly free from the existing systems and life circumstances that made her vulnerable to begin with. It is from this need that PURPOSE Jewelry was born; to create economic opportunities to reduce the statistical likelihood that she would end up right back where she started, just as vulnerable as before to be preyed upon once again.
Dedicated to providing each woman with an income of her own, Wendy and Stephanie created PURPOSE Jewelry as International Sanctuary’s social enterprise, providing vocational training and employment to truly empower the women and help them change their circumstances and become autonomous. PURPOSE Jewelry is the solution that allows them to gain financial independence through earning a living wage.
Handcrafted and signed by an artisan survivor, PURPOSE Jewelry sells beautifully designed pieces in up to three annual collections. Keeping the offering fresh helps to keep the demand high, which in turn helps to keep the women employed and earning!
As essential as money is, when you’ve suffered abuse and neglect at the hands of traffickers, your health and wellbeing are also fundamental to your survival. The women who craft the jewels also live in a loving environment, have access to education and receive holistic care, including healthcare and counseling, crucial to repairing body and mind. This multi-pronged approach is profound in helping them stand firmly on their own two feet - free, dignified, transformed - and they are much more likely to walk out of that revolving door.
When you investigate the reasons behind why slavery continues to happen today, you realize that “economic empowerment continues to be the missing piece in the global approach to solving the human trafficking crisis.”
Finally, it is being realized that economic empowerment needs to be an integrated part of the solution and International Sanctuary’s PURPOSE Jewelry is paving the way. Rescue and residential partners invite International Sanctuary to collaborate with them and provide employment to the growing ranks of survivors.
Wendy and Stephanie are confident that, “Non-profit collaboration in the anti-human trafficking space is the linchpin to ending this exploitation once and for all. It’s a powerful model that has proven effective for a decade and we couldn’t be more excited about it.”
With sanctuaries in four countries already helping women to break out of that cycle and become survivors, the future is looking bright. They’ve got their sights set towards 2020 where their vision is to have 10 sanctuaries around the world where girls and women are empowered, restored in mind, body and soul, and free from the bonds of slavery.
Awareness of the issue of modern-day slavery is crucial in strengthening the fight against it and creating positive changes that, maybe one day, can smash that revolving door altogether. PURPOSE Jewelry is actively working to spread awareness and is proud to be a part of Strike Out Slavery, an incredible event supported by Nick Jonas and two major league baseball teams.
“Everyday is challenging but rewarding and we are very fortunate to do this kind of work for those in need.”
Buy PURPOSE jewelry and help survivors of human trafficking gain dignity and economic freedom today. Follow their mission on social media and be the first to see their stunning creations on Instagram. Join a community of like-minded individuals, send a donation or volunteer and become a part of the vision of International Sanctuary. And, if you want to catch a ball game, grab some tickets and help shine a light on the realities of modern-day slavery and the powerful work being done to end it for good.