A Heart to Empower Mothers
The heartbeat of Trades of Hope began with a desire to help mothers keep their babies and care for their families well. We saw the need for women to have sustainable work the first time in Haiti.
Our purpose is to create a marketplace, so mothers have jobs to feed, shelter, and educate their children.
As this missional business has grown, so has our reach.
Mothers in Guatemala
In the spring of 2019, I was able to spend time in Guatemala. The women we work with have lived very different lives from mine. We each grew up with our own cultures, traditions, levels of education, and personal experiences.
I grew up in a middle-class family from Michigan. I lived in a safe, loving home that never lacked for homemade meals nor opportunities for education. In short, we come from completely different sociological backgrounds. We are very different people, and yet…
At the core of our being, we have something powerful in common.
Most of us are mothers.
We love our children deeply. We all want our children to be healthy, happy, and have opportunities for the future.
Maria is the woman on my right in the photo. As she strung beads, she shared that she did have a job weeding in the farmer’s fields like so many others in her country. Unfortunately, the pay wasn’t a living wage and only helped them survive day to day.
Empowered to Take Action
Now, working with the artisan group, she can save for the future. Her son was recently ill, and she was so relieved she had money saved for the doctor’s visit and the necessary medication. She could do more than pray he would get better. She was empowered and also able to take action.
Maria is so grateful to be using a skill her grandmother taught her to provide for her family. Her life and her family’s lives now are better because she is paid well for the goods she creates. There’s less worry and more joy.
A Common Thread
I have been able to talk with our Artisans in other countries such as Peru, Uganda, Kenya and Cambodia. There is always a common thread. We as mothers love our children and want them to thrive. We all want our babies to grow up to be happy, healthy adults.
As different as we are, we, as Artisans, Compassionate Entrepreneurs (Partners), and mothers have a common desire that unites and brings us together in this missional business of Trades of Hope. I love that we offer opportunities for women to care for their children well and bring joy to more women around the world.
“Happy Mother’s Day to all of you who pour love, care and support into other people in your life!” – Gretchen
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HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY FROM
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Originally published April 16, 2019.
Such a sweet, sweet blog post. Never once did I think my daughter would not grow up happy and healthy. To know that we are working towards this goal for other women who would not have thought the same way is such a blessing and a privilege