Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Day 5 of Giving that Gives Back: Connected in Hope


I am so excited today to have the opportunity to introduce you all to a wonderful opportunity to give in a way that gives back. Today, I am highlighting  Connected in Hope, a wonderful enterprise founded by my friend Ryane as a way to "empower women and strengthen families" in Ethiopia. The vision for this enterprise began when Ryane traveled to Ethiopia to adopt and fell in love with more than a child. Ryane has been very generous and supportive to me as I have worked to launch our Mercy Covers enterprise, so I am excited to share Connected in Hope with you today.

Connected in Hope supports the Former Women Fuel Carriers Association in Ethiopia as they work to transition women out of this difficult and often enslaving work into dignified and meaningful artisan crafting.
From the web site:

Subsequent trips to Ethiopia brought us face-to-face with women burdened the job of with carrying enormous bundles of fuel wood. They seemed to almost run as they rushed down the mountains around Addis Ababa to sell their bundles for less than $1. We learned about the enormous challenges they faced every day in an effort to provide even the basics of food and shelter for their families.   We saw the sadness in their eyes as they talked about leaving their sleeping children in the hours before dawn to gather fuel wood in the forest  Wild animals, harassment, rape were part of their daily lives.  We met children forced to quit school and work when the complications of HIV/AIDS left their mothers too ill to support the family.   We saw the realities of their lives – poverty, unsafe water, inadequate sanitation, not enough food.  The faces of the women fuel wood carriers and their children were imprinted on our hearts and left us forever changed- and committed!

I love that Connected in Hope is supporting and empowering local leadership in their efforts to accomplish this for their women. And Connected in Hope not only provides income development for their women, but also is improving education for their children, working to keep families together and prevent children from being orphaned, and addressing the difficult health care crisis in Ethiopia. This is amazing work, you guys!

Women are released from the back breaking and dangerous work of a fuel wood carrier to become artisans and the mothers they hope to be!

Not to mention that they make some of the most lovely scarves you have ever seen! Check out the darling Sarah from Amongst Lovely Things sporting hers. Here's what she has to say about these beautiful products: 

I love that I can wear a beautiful well-made scarf and connect with women and families across the globe. I feel like I'm wearing hope when I wear a CIH piece. And it's one of my favorite gifts to give!

Sarah rocking this whole mom of newborn twins thing in her Connected in Hope scarf.

Connected in Hope gives you a great step-by-step guide as to how you can help. Start with praying. Then go purchase a scarf or two because:

And remember yesterday when we talked about having a different kind of Christmas party? Why not host a Connected in Hope trunk show? 

You know what else is cool? When you make a purchase at Connected in Hope, the item comes signed by the artisan! So you can go find her and see her face and know her story, truly connecting yourself to the hope you are bringing into her life. 

You know what else is cool? Ryane has generously offered us a coupon code for free shipping for any purchases you make from the site! Just plug in GIVEHOPE2 at checkout for free shipping in the online store.

So let's build some hope in Ethiopia today while purchasing high quality, meaningful gifts for the Christmas season. And share this post with your friends and readers too so they can get connected in hope and enjoy our coupon!

Just coming on board today? Follow and share the links to the whole series

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