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Fair Trade Jewelry and Ethical Fashion

Fair Trade Jewelry & Ethical Fashion

LeeLee’s Story of Hope in East Asia

by | Artisans, Fashion as a Force for Good

LeeLee, Artisan in EAST ASIA

LeeLee’s Story of Hope in East Asia! – (Read Time: 3 min.)

“About six months ago, Mae came to me and told me that her relatives were going to sell her 19-year-old niece, LeeLee, and asked if we could help.”

– Jenny, Artisan Community Founder & CEO in East Asia

Her Father Wanted to Sell Her

I met LeeLee through her Aunt Mae, who had come to our Artisan community in East Asia with her daughter after they had both been working in a brothel for several years. Mae had never been to school before coming here, but now she has learned to read and write and makes bracelets and necklaces faster than anyone else.

East Asia Trafficking Survivors Discovering Hope As Jewelry Artisans

Sex Trafficking Survivors and Vulnerable Women in East Asia Receive Opportunities to Become Financially Independent Through Fashion as a Force for Good.

Rescued by Her Aunt

About six months ago, Mae came to me and told me that her relatives were going to sell her 19-year-old niece, LeeLee, and asked if we could help. LeeLee’s mother had abandoned her when she was very young and her father remarried a couple of years later. His new wife didn’t want LeeLee around, so they sent her to live with her grandmother. The two of them lived out in the deep countryside where they farmed. LeeLee was never allowed to go out, make friends, or go to school. She only stayed on the farm and helped her grandmother.

She is 20 years old now and her grandmother recently passed away. When this happened, Mae was the only relative willing to help LeeLee, because her own father wanted to sell her. Mae asked me if we could offer her a job and I agreed.

LeeLee, Artisan in East Asia 2
LeeLee had to travel by train for 30 hours to get to our Artisan community. It was a huge adjustment for her. The first time she went to a grocery store near our shelter, she broke down and cried because she had no idea how to buy groceries on her own. She didn’t know how to interact with others and would barely speak. But she has been a hard worker, and was so proud when she finished her first necklace. Six months later, she has slowly started to come out of her shell, and she is starting to talk much more.

Going to School for the 1st Time

LeeLee, Artisan in East Asia 3
LeeLee’s counselor recommended that she be in a place where she can be around other young people and begin to expand her mind. So for the first time in her life, our Artisan community will send LeeLee to school. She is going to live in the dormitory with other young people and learn skills in math, literacy, English, and computers, and can explore vocations like baking, sculpting, sewing, filming, and martial arts. LeeLee is so excited for this opportunity and we are very thankful that Mae stepped in to keep her niece from being sold.

“This is how it happens: together we help one, and then she helps one, and someday LeeLee will be able to help one.” – Jenny, Founder & CEO East Asia Artisan Community

Jenny, Artisan Community Founder in East Asia
Guest Blog by Jenny, Artisan Community Founder & CEO in East Asia
In East Asia, poverty encourages sexual exploitation of women in brothels. These women want to provide for their families but have few options. Your purchase helps provide sex trafficking survivors with safe housing, holistic care, job skills training, dignified income, trauma counseling, and hope.

More East Asia Blogs

Click on each photo below to discover more about our Artisan partners and products in EAST ASIA.

Bai, Artisan in East Asia

Bai’s Story of Hope in East Asia

Women Rescued from Brothels in East Asia

Fashion as a Force for Good, Chenny’s, Li Ya’s, & Hong Fay’s Stories of Hope in East Asia

Fay’s Story of Hope in East Asia

Helping Women in East Asia Heal From the Trauma of Sex Trafficking

Helping Women in East Asia Heal From the Trauma of Sex Trafficking

Ling, Artisan in East Asia

How Sisterhood is Rescuing Women from Brothels in East Asia

Lan, Artisan in East Asia

Lan’s Story of Hope in East Asia

Mae, Artisan in East Asia

Restoring Hope to Victims of Sex Trafficking – Mae’s Story of Hope in East Asia

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Trades of Hope - Guest Blogger

Trades of Hope - Guest Blogger

Kindred

adjective
1. similar in kind; related
2. a blog by Trades of Hope

Trades of Hope is an ethical fashion and lifestyle brand that helps women around the world escape poverty and trafficking through our fair trade designs. Learn how you can partner with Artisans around the world here.