Thursday, August 28, 2014

Empowering

I stay in touch with a couple people that were invested in my daughter's welfare while she was in Ethiopia. Communication with them is sporadic at best. It depends upon electricity, internet availability, limited mutual language and overcoming cultural differences. 

Seriously, people, I have been having a conversation that is approximately seven lines in total for more than a month.

Her: I got a new job!
Me: Tell me about your job! What do you do now?
Her: I am cleaning lady. I make 300 birr a month. I want to start road coffee business. I struggle to survive.

How do you respond to that? I'm not sure what the conversion rate is now, but when we were there it was 17:1 That means she's making $17.64. A Month.

I just spent $27 at the store and thought I got out of there cheap. As I drove home I analyzed my purchases. How many of them were necessities? How many could we do without? How can I help this woman? Who do I know that can arrange a micro loan for her?

But for every person I know that struggles, there are hundreds....thousands....who are struggling along with her. It makes the conversation I had with Brent on Monday, in which we discussed the increasing prices while our budget stays the same and how do we do it, what can we trim, seem foolish. Not because we don't need to trim, just because the idea of living on less than $20 a month is laughable. That doesn't even buy water (not bottled. tap).

Did she tell me that in hopes that I would send money or fund her business, probably. Could I do it? Probably. But what she said reminded me of why I do what I do and also reminded me that I need to do it more. Selling accessories is silly. Frivolous. And it CHANGES LIVES. Every time I sell a bracelet, scarf, Christmas ornament or earrings there is a woman somewhere getting paid a decent wage, who can send her child to school, drink clean water, buy food. She is empowered. She isn't begging on street corners or selling her body. She is making a life. She is maintaining her family.

Accessories not your thing? Fine. I get that. But I encourage you to find a way to empower someone today. The world depends on us everyday people giving a rip about others.

If we don't care, who will?

www.mytradesofhope.com/jamiedriggers
http://myshare.worldvision.org/Driggersfamily

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