Women and Girls

Oct 11
2016

Celebrating Girls with New Initiatives!!

Nepalese GirlOctober 11th is International Day of the Girl established by the United Nations in 2012. There are 1.1 billion girls in the world today. They are smart, creative and talented but limited in opportunities because of gender inequality, lack of education and violence. I witness this potential when I spend time with the rescued girls in the safe houses in Nepal.  They have been denied education, suffered abuse and violence in their homes and deceived by traffickers. They come to the safe house wounded and broken, but they find the love from the other girls and staff that they have possibly never known before.  They work hard to recover from the trauma they’ve experienced and build a live filled with hope.

 

If you are a friend and supporter of Eternal Threads, you have been part of that amazing process. Giving young women training to have a business is the most valuable gift we can give them. I’ll be traveling to Nepal next month to work on a new training center for the girls. We are excited about that and I’ll definitely keep you posted.

Tailoring business

I started giving sewing machines to girls in India several years before Eternal Threads began. I realized then how valuable a tool it is for women in the developing world.  Since its founding our mission has always been to give women and girls the opportunities that will help them achieve more than they might have dreamed. We need your partnership to be able to do this.

This fall we launched TWO GREAT NEW INITIATIVES that we hope will help us continue to help our artisans around the world and accomplish even more for them as well as be a benefit to your mission or business.

If you have a shop or you know someone who does, please recommend our WHOLESALE program to them.  If you can help us sell  more products, we can give our artisans more sustainable income year round.

Many of you have been Gathering Hostesses for us in the past and sold the artisans goods at church events, schools and homes.  We couldn’t have accomplished all that we’ve done in the past few years without you!!!  We have now redesigned this program into our new HOST A SALE.  We hope this program which allows you to make a profit for a cause you care about will bless your organization or church at the same time you are helping our artisans in such a meaningful way.

Please join us in continuing our mission of empowerment.

Blessings,

Linda

 

Oct 21
2015

“Breaking Chains” in Mongolia

Trafficking of young women and girls is a worldwide crime of astonishing proportions. They are trafficked in many different ways. They are deceived, kidnapped and even sold by relatives, but poverty is the underlying factor. Girls who have no other way to survive are often lured into sexual slavery with no other options and no way out.

Khentii and BelgeeOur Mongolian partners, Khentii and Belgee (right), and their team reach out to these young women on the streets of the capital city and offer them a way out. It is a long and difficult process to gain their trust when they have never before had anyone in their lives they could trust.

Mother and DaughterChanging their lives is not easy. Many of the women have children and need an income to begin a new life. Our partners developed a jewelry project several years ago and asked Eternal Threads to help them with a market.

I was able to visit this amazing project last year to meet the team and the young women in the program as well as the day care center they had recently opened for the women’s children.

Mongolian Girl

Watch this video of a young women making Break the Chains bracelets. One of the rescued women created the design for this bracelet as a symbol of her freedom.

Click here to see the beautiful jewelry that the women make. Please remember them in your prayers.

“Young girls do not dream about entering prostitution. It usually happens out of desperation, abuse or force.”

Gratefully,
Linda

Sep 15
2013

The Last Point

I sometimes receive emails from our Afghan partner that stun me in their reality and for a few minutes, I am able to block out the “nothingness” that is all around us and live in the moment of what truly matters.

For over four years our partner has very capably overseen the tailoring and now beautician training courses that we fund for women who desperately need a skill to provide income for their families in the safety of their homes.

International Literacy Day was September 8th.  That same week we began literacy courses and self-help empowerment courses for the women in our training courses.  They want to learn to read since most of them never had the opportunity to attend school.  Our partner recently finished a three-week training course himself to be able to also train these women in organizing Self-Help Groups.  This is a fantastic program that not only teaches them how to start their own businesses, but also gives training in forming self-help groups where they contribute their own money to a fund that will provide low interest loans to its members.  This program was developed by the International Labor Organization and is one of the most valuable tools for helping women who live in extreme poverty and oppression.

A few days ago, I received word from some dear friends that a young Afghan man they had worked with on development projects was murdered to prevent any further progress of this kind for the Afghan people.  I expressed concern to our partner for his and his family’s safety and questioned whether or not we should continue. I received this in reply…

Don’t worry Ms. Linda. We will not die this soon because we have targets and goals in our life. We are building the minds of children and women and giving them hope to continue living.  In this case, we have decided to continue to the last point…”

Everyone is fearful for 2014 and what will happen when international forces leave Afghanistan.  My fear is that the Afghan people will be forgotten once again.  The potential for the increased oppression and brutality toward women and girls is very real and beyond the scope of most of our imaginations.

A report in TOLOnews.com on 9/11/13 states that 95 percent of suicides in Afghanistan are committed by women. More than 2,500 Afghan women have taken their own lives in the past year alone. Countrywide investigations show that the vast majority of suicide cases in Afghanistan were amongst woman and young girls experiencing physical abuse. According to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), Afghan women experience some of the highest rates of domestic violence in the world. According to UNAMA’s mid-year report, cases of violence against women were higher in 2013 than in 2012. In addition to violence, Public Health officials cited forced marriage, often between pre-adolescent girls and adult men, as well as widespread illiteracy as the main adversities facing female Afghans that contribute to the startling rates of suicide. 

This news is very discouraging, and it would be easy to say it’s not worth it, but if those who risk the most for their people are not willing to give up then my momentary feelings of discouragement don’t measure up.

Bless all of you who have supported these training courses with your donations to Eternal Threads for sewing machines, lunch for the women and trainers’ salaries.  I assure you it does not go unnoticed and it will never be forgotten.  It will continue to be a light in the shadows, and even a small amount of light illumes the darkness. DSC00175

After I visited the training courses on my last visit, I learned from our partner that the women could not believe that I would travel so far to see them and that we would care enough to give them these opportunities.  Caring enough isn’t really that difficult nor does it cost us that much, but it changes lives in ways that we really can’t comprehend.  I think it is easy for us to forget that there is a “last point” and I’m thankful for our partner’s reminder.  He is the father of three sons so his sacrifice or risk is certainly no less and a lot more than ours.  He was a translator for our military for two years and still honors the men and women that he saw sacrificing so much for his people and his country.  It is what inspired him.

To make a difference in the lives of these women in Afghanistan, please visit our Life Changing Gifts page.

Aug 31
2013

Kathmandu

Even though we flew completely different routes, amazingly we all arrived within a few minutes of each other at the Kathmandu airport on Friday morning.  Unfortunately some of the luggage for Abby’s extended stay here in Nepal didn’t make it, but they will be here on the 2nd.

After a quick rest, shower and some lunch we went to visit the new offices of of our Nepal partner which up until now had been in their home.  Our partner had invited a young woman to join us that he wanted me to meet.  Her name is Rashmi.  A beautiful young women with amazing blue eyes who has been deaf since birth.  Her husband signed and translated for us.  She is a very accomplished artist naturally and is now studying at Kathmandu University.  She draws all of the anti-trafficking posters that our partner distributes to police stations, bus and train stations, schools, etc.  She wants to use her art to help with the anti-trafficking work.  I wish she could meet our great friend, Ruth Jackson, who never stops thinking about the ways in which she can use her art for good.

Rashmi, along with her paintings, has started doing painting on canvas shoes.  We all thought they were fantastic and think there is a potential for selling them….especially to benefit the Red Thread Movement.  She wants to train the girls in the safe house to do the painting which will give them an income, but will also give them a way to express themselves.  They often can’t articulate what they have gone through in either the spoken or written word, but can express their feelings in art.Image

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After leaving the offices we visited our partner’s family at their home which is where the sewing center activities take place as well.  We were able to meet some of the girls doing the sewing and see the new cutting machine that they have available to them.  It was great to meet Rosni who is now completely in charge of all the shipments that we receive of bracelets and other goods.  Before returning to the hotel they prepared the most wonderful Nepali meal for us all to share.

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