become a part of their story | Emily/Ember/Uganda


The more I walk down the road of getting to KNOW the world better, so I can LOVE the world better… the more I am learning to LOVE WOMEN in hard places, going through hard times… But also, the more I see dreams for these women, their families, and their communities – dreams filled with hope, healing, and transformation!

So, back to my friend – Emily. You know, the awesome one I was talking about a couple posts ago. The artist. I want to tell you, like I said, about what she’s doing TODAY (and for the next 6 weeks).

Uganda is one of those places that, though very very beautiful, can be very hard at times. But it’s also a place where there are some really good things happening. And some of those things have to do with awesome and talented people, like Emily. Emily works with Ember, a company that has a vision for seeing hopehealing and transformation in Uganda – through art and, more specifically, through making jewelry with recycled paper and plastics.

Emily loves art. She IS an artist after all. And one of her favorite forms of art is making jewelry out of recycled or reused materials. She loves breathing new and beautiful life into what some might think is useless trash. (Gosh, I am SUCH a fan of that sentence!!!) Emily also loves Uganda. For a few years now, she has considered the country one of her homes. Through Ember – Emily is able to combine those loves!

Ember has hired – I want to say 27/28, but I’m not certain of the number – women to make jewelry that is then sold in the US. Emily goes and spends time with the women, training them on new designs. You see, Ember has given them jobs, not handouts, and they want these jobs to be totally legitimate. They want people to buy the jewelry these women make, not to just to help some poor people become less poor but because they think that the jewelry is BEAUTIFUL and worth their money. So, Emily’s job – well, one of them – is to help them create things that women in our part of the world are going to WANT to buy because they really do want this work to be sustainable and dignifying. They want to pay the women well and for a long time – not JUST to the point that they are able to feed their families and send their children to elementary school, but – to the point that they will be able to save and send their children to COLLEGE and start businesses! They could have hired twice as many women and paid them less, but they’re dreaming long term. They want to see these women and their children learn and grow and dream and become empowered to improve the realities of life in their communities.

Just look at them…

… aren’t they beautiful?! The women. Their dreams. Their art. Just… lovely.

I love that buying a piece of something these women make allows me to become a part of their story – a small part, but a part. Check it out at emberarts.com. Maybe you can become a part of their story too!

Dear Emily,
I hope you don’t mind that I’m talking about you. I just really think you are soooo cool!
When I grow up, I kinda want to be like you.
Love,
Shanda
P.S. Let’s skype soon!!!

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