Our Valentine's Day gift wrap may be my favorite - so far. It's handmade and guaranteed to make anyone who opens it all warm and fuzzy inside. Especially when you choose a Z|W loved cuff bracelet, necklace, or keychain to put inside - $10 from every loved item purchased now through February 14th, 2015 will be donated directly to The Trade Foundation.
This organization is near and dear to my heart. The Trade has done tremendous things over the years to raise women up out of sex trafficking, provide training and education in haircutting, hairstyling and makeup, and offer new life to women who have suffered unimaginable heartache. What they are doing is incredible and @lady_dianna has put herself in the middle of it all, moving to Cambodia from California to open their first year-round salon.
The Rock Paper Salon in Siem Reap is an opportunity to reach women in Cambodia that have been affected by poverty, lack of education and training resources, domestic abuse and other great hardships. The Trade is coming alongside them to change their futures, and the outcome is beyond bright.
At Z|W we're all about win-win scenarios that make people feel loved. Please, please, please shop now and make the choice to spread love both locally AND globally with one simple act of intentional spending.
This is an excerpt from The Trade's January Newsletter, written by Director Melissa Lingo:
"The work that The Trade is doing deals with complicated issues of the heart. When people hear “sex trafficking” and prostitution, they usually tend to imagine swat teams and Liam Neeson, but there are many, many layers to this kind of work. All of our students come from different walks of life, and we aren’t as focused on their past as much as we are on their future. We are all about restoration, and future building. Empowerment looks forward, and instead of defining our students by what and where they’ve come from, we want to help them define themselves with education and freedom.
Our students come from a variety of different backgrounds, and some of them are not rescued at all... in fact, some of them prefer to work in the brothels because of the fast money they can make to help provide for their families. This has helped paint a clearer picture of Cambodia, the fact that some women choose prostitution because the options and education are so limited...which doesn’t make it much of a choice at all, but rather a last resort.
Trying to understand poverty and the way that the sex trade operates in Cambodia is very difficult, and even more difficult to explain, but what can be said is that the root of a lot of this is quite simple. The women and men here have families to support, they want to work, they want an education, and they want to succeed, just like everyone else in the world. The Trade’s program is here as an opportunity for people in dire situations, to support them on their educational journey by providing the tools and guidance necessary to excel. Our goal is to create ripple effects in the community and see a new wave of empowered, self sustaining women, and you are helping us make that splash."