Refined through fire

Photo courtesy of Fast Company's Co.Exist Site

“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith – more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire – may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” – 1 Peter 1:6-7

Who could have predicted that something as destructive as a bullet would be used to create beauty and instill hope? Fast Company's Co.Exist site highlights how the recent work of Raven & Lily in Ethiopia has been transformational in several important ways.  

The product: handcrafted beads and jewelry made from post-civil war bullet casings.

Like many social businesses, Raven & Lily partners with women in a developing country to create a culturally-significant product that can be sold in America and Europe to eager customers who have a heart for the poor and seek to be globally engaged. In one way, this project stands out from the others.

The mission and purpose is holistic in nature. In addition to creating jobs for women, this business engages in trade with the farmers who sell the casings they collect from their fields to the trained women in the villages. Once the beads and jewelry are made, they are sent to the cities to be distributed. At each step of this process, value is added, which contributes to not only the financial well-being of multiple parties, but also the GDP of Ethiopia.

It’s important to note that the partnership was established with bead-makers who are HIV-positive and often shunned from their community. Raven & Lily make sure these women have access to health care, education, and savings accounts, on top of good wages. They are also seeking to reestablish relationships for the women with their villages. 

“What was once meant for harm now brings hope and life to the HIV-positive women in our partnership.” – Kirsten Dickerson, CEO and Co-Founder of Raven & Lily

Jul 202012
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