"The Social Network of the South"
This past weekend I traveled to Nashville, TN for a girls weekend and stumbled across some unbelievable jewelry.
The companies name is 31 Bits. Not only do they make the most beautiful necklaces and bracelets but they are educating and thus empowering the women who make the jewelry.
Heres a little back ground on the company.
USING FASHION AND DESIGN TO EMPOWER WOMEN TO RISE ABOVE POVERTY.
31 Bits Designs is a socially minded business designed to give internally displaced women in Northern Uganda an opportunity to counter poverty. By giving our beneficiaries access to the international market, they are able to earn an instant income, providing homes, food, and education for their families. Our program equips women by providing literacy education, financial and vocational training, holistic care, and strong support systems, empowering individuals to further their careers and attain social equity.
Love, because love stems from Christ and is a catalyst for positive change. Equality, because equality promotes dignity, respect, and self-worth for all people. Hope, because hope is the belief that something good can and will happen. Honesty, because honesty demonstrates integrity and ensures trust and transparency with all participants. Quality, because a quality product is created with the utmost excellence. Growth, because growth allows us to dream of what the future could look like; and as a result, continuously be implementing new and innovative ways to improve the quality of the organization and of the lives of participants.
Nearly two million people in Northern Uganda have been displaced from their homes and villages as a result of the ongoing, catastrophic war traveling throughout East Africa. The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), led by Joseph Kony, began its malicious movement in 1986 through a horrific agenda of torturing individuals, setting villages on fire, and abducting thousands of children. Within two decades, the LRA had recruited nearly 66,000 youth to their army, forcing children to be soldiers, “wives”, and slaves.
In 1996, the Government of Uganda forced approximately 1.8 million people to relocate to Internally Displaced People’s (IDP) camps in an effort to provide refuge and protection, however, a decade later, the situation in IDP camps worsened as they became filled with disease, poverty, malnourishment, and few opportunities to leave.
Throughout the last few years, many people have been permitted to leave IDP camps and return to their villages, however, individuals and communities at large have been left with little hope of returning to their normal way of life or attaining social equity. The limited access to education, employment, and sustainability has forced many people to relocate to the District of Gulu, where they are seeking aid and opportunity.
There are some who have achieved sustainability for themselves and their families, while thousands of others remain with few chances for employment, livelihood, and provision. Gulu is filled with astounding high spirits and energy; however, the lack of opportunity has diminished many people’s hope for prosperity. As their deprivation of sustenance, opportunity, and optimism continues, there is a growing need for effective actions to take place that will counter poverty, offer hope, and establish sustainability.
Check them out yourself, 31 Bits.
Heres one of my favorites.