A few days ago we were thrilled to connect with our good friend Rebecca who started one of our longest-term partner organizations - Hands Producing Hope. HPH works with artisans in Costa Rica and Rwanda and has changed the lives of many in their respective communities thanks to Rebecca’s commitment and dedication to a calling she felt in 2012.
We hope you’ll take a listen and be reminded that significant change can absolutely start with just one person ignoring the fear and stepping out to help others...especially when we don’t have all the answers.
Pod Cast Excerpt:
A twenty minute cab ride followed by a forty five minute hike into Costa Rican wilderness finds you on the reservation of the Guaymi, an indigenous tribe who have faced great discrimination and hardship throughout history. Guaymi coffee pickers are paid half the wages of non-indigenous Costa Ricans, for example, and education opportunities for women and girls are rare.
On remote islands situated on a large Rwandan lake, meager job opportunity resulting in an 80-90% unemployment rate wreaks poverty on villagers. Families are often left with a heart-rending choice- which one of their children to enroll in the feeding program.
Stories like these leave us saddened and angry, but often unmoved to action because we just don’t know what we can do about it. The descriptions above belong to communities whom today’s guest, Rebecca Gardner, had the chance to visit (and now work with) herself. Burdened with “holy anger” by the disparities and utter poverty she witnessed, Rebecca founded a transformational program to help disadvantaged women around the world gain empowerment, employment and education.
Hands Producing Hope is igniting sustainable change in communities where women largely have no work or cannot even read or write. Artisan training, literacy programs, maternal health centers, and caring relationships are all providing skill, knowledge, camaraderie and income that will see impact on these people groups for generations.
Rebecca, interviewed in this episode by Bought Beautifully founders Collin and Emily (be sure to check out episode 51 if you haven’t yet!), is here to tell you how you can get involved in real communities and real issues like these from your own home, through your own product choices. Also tune in for some encouragement towards cultivating your own unique and potentially life-changing ideas, which too often never make it past the brain or notebook they originate in. Rebecca says to “ignore the fear and start somewhere; ask for a lot of help and guidance…don’t let the bigness or scariness of the dream hold you back from starting that dream…the most dangerous thing is to just not do anything”!
Also check out boughtbeautifully.org and moimoimarket.com (this podcast’s sponsor) for more ethical & high quality products that support a variety of amazing causes and artisans.