In Cajolá, a small Guatemalan village, 94 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. This means that families often do not have access to basic necessities, and their children do not have access to education.

But the Mayamam Weavers co-op in Cajolá is changing things. The women who work there make beautiful home goods with traditional Mayan patterns, and for their work they receive fair wages, primary school education through the sixth grade level, and access to scholarships for further education. Rather than immigrate to the US and separate their families in order to make a living, they have chosen to stay together and improve their community right where they are. By joining the Mayamam Weavers, women have the opportunity to change their entire family’s future for the better. Today, the cooperative has grown to 20 weavers and seamstresses. These women all earn fair trade wages while learning skills to run a successful business.

Fair Trade is Good for People and Good for the World

The Mayamam Weavers create handwoven home goods and accessories that are sturdy, practical, and stunning. These products are woven on a variety of looms with different techniques. They incorporate rich and vivid colors into their woven products, which are made from 100 percent cotton, are soft, and hold up under everyday use.

They provide an assortment of home goods from aprons to tote bags to Christmas ornaments. The aprons they weave come in a variety of colors and styles, and some are also available in children’s sizes. The same traditional patterns and bold colors are also used in the bags and towels, creating useful products that are trendy, beautiful, and honor the culture they come from.

The women behind the Mayamam Weavers co-op are determined to make their lives better for themselves and their children—and with the education and wages they receive from their artistry, they are doing just that.

Shopping fair trade is just one way you can bring hope and healing to an impoverished community.

Shop Mayamam Weavers 

There are real people behind every product you buy—people with families and dreams. But do you know who they are?

Most people have no idea who made their product. They don't know if it came from a sweatshop or involved exploitation. But with Jesus' Economy, we connect you directly to the artisan. We tell you their story.

Our artisans make fair wages, work in safe and healthy environments, and can build a future for themselves and their families. With Jesus' Economy, you can make the world a better place. Shop fair trade by artist.

P.S. Right now, we're offering 20% off with coupon BLACKFRIDAY. The amount of customers who choose to shop at JesusEconomy.org during Black Friday weekend makes this possible. That's the economy of scale at work.

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women is November 25, two days after Americans give thanks for a multitude of blessings. Many women in both developed and developing countries will just be giving thanks that they live to see another day. 

The Frequency of Violence Against Women 

Violence against women persists throughout the world and takes on many forms. While many people tend to see it as an issue that only exists in oppressed countries where women aren't viewed as equals, it's a problem that runs rampant even in developed countries like the United States. Oftentimes, it takes the form of domestic violence and sexual assault but it can also be genital mutilation and random attacks in the street. 

The UN reports that in 87 countries from 2005 to 2016, 19 percent of women ages 15 to 49 said they had experienced physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner in the previous 12 months.

This typically translates into 1 in 3 women experiencing violence against them at some point in their lifetime, according to the World Health Organization. That means that if you are a woman and have two female friends, one of you has experienced assault in some form because of your gender. If you're a man and you have three female friends, one of them has experienced someone being physically violent toward them. 

Taking Action 

This is why the UN established days like the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Awareness is key and it can lead to action. That's where we've stepped in to help women in poverty. 

Many of our artisan co-operatives are comprised of women who are sewing and creating products by hand to support themselves and their children. This means they can afford to send their kids to school, buy food for their table, and shoes for their feet. When children are educated, human rights issues such as gender inequality aren't as prominent. The children learn right from wrong, fair from unfair, and how to treat others no matter their gender or skin color. 

In addition to our female artisans, as part of our Renew Bihar program we have created an empowering women program. When the program is fully launched, we will be able to train women on how to develop and create quality products. We'll also show them how to run a business, hire employees, and practice ethical business standards. We will walk alongside them as they slowly build a small business and lift themselves and their families out of poverty. 

Empowering Women 

Here at Jesus' Economy, we are in the business of empowering women. When women are empowered, the cycle of poverty breaks which helps the community in which they live. As a result, more people in the community are able to have access to education. When communities see this increase in education, the violence against women decreases. 

When International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women arrives this Saturday the 25, talk about it with your friends and family, spread awareness, pray about how you can help end violence against women across the globe, and then take action. 

This is the story of how a business opportunity really can change a life. This is the moving story of a Nepalese artisan, working near the roof of the world.

Laxmi Tara lives in the small village of Tokha on the outskirts of Kathmandu Valley. She is in her early 20s (Nepalis often do not know their actual age as birthdays are not traditionally celebrated). She came to Cheppu of Himalaya, a partner organization of Jesus' Economy, for a microloan to open her own tailoring shop. Since that time, Laxmi has set up her own tailoring business and has been very successful in her local village.

Today Laxmi Tara, along with other artisans, creates gorgeous scarves and shrugs that are sold internationally. And now you can buy Laxmi Tara's creations right here on JesusEconomy.org.

Shop Fair Trade Scarves from Nepal

Cheppu from Himalaya, a fair trade organization, and a new partner of Jesus’ Economy, uses the vision of Nepalese culture to inspire their scarves, shrugs, and ponchos. These entirely fair trade products are handmade by artisans in Nepal with environmentally friendly and renewable resources. These pieces of outerwear are all-around wonderful for the world and the people in it.

Scarves from Nepal

Some of the wonderful articles handmade in Nepal are infinity scarves. These scarves are available in colors from avocado green to oat, so you can find the right one for your style. Wear it wrapped around once for a longer loop, or wrap it twice to keep your neck a little warmer. These versatile scarves are perfect for warmer and cooler weather, and will also make great gifts as the holiday season approaches.

 

Infinity Scarves from Nepal: Café Sparkle

 

Infinity Scarves from Nepal: Maize

 

Infinity Scarves from Nepal: Poppy

 

Infinity Scarves from Nepal: Avocado

 

Infinity Scarves from Nepal: Oat

 

 

Talk about fair trade and dress to the nines by buying a beautiful scarf from Nepal.

 

Shop Scarves from Nepal 

 

This Father’s Day, we celebrate fathers and honor the way they mentor and encourage their children. This kind of mentorship is present in fair trade, too.

Fair trade is about more than selling products. Fair trade is about people. For Jesus’ Economy, fair trade is about empowering people on a global level—helping them out of poverty and walking alongside them in encouragement. For us, fair trade is about mentorship and hope for the future.

Unemployment in Uganda is a huge issue, especially among young people. When young people can’t find stable work, the cycle of poverty continues. John Nyarwa, the proprietor of RWA Group Ltd., a registered Ugandan company with Christian values, has partnered with Jesus’ Economy to fight poverty and empower people in Kampala, Uganda.

John started a business for screen printing because he wanted to create jobs for the young people of Kampala. His team creates hats and shirts from locally and ethically sourced materials. He is dedicated to using business to provide jobs and uplift his community. He has become a father figure to his young employees as he encourages them and brings them hope.

Fair Trade T-Shirts Create Global Change

The t-shirts available in the fair trade store were designed by the Jesus’ Economy creative team, KarBel Multimedia, and then produced by John Nyarwa’s company. These t-shirts were created on a global scale, for the sake of making the world a better place, one job at a time.

The t-shirts feature the Jesus’ Economy logo, which is a pinpoint. A pinpoint on a map marks a location, our pinpoint marks our destination as an organization, wrapping the entire world in Jesus Christ’s economy of generosity through job and church creation, and meeting basic needs. Our shirts reflect our desire to stimulate economic growth throughout the world.

John’s story is just one of the many partnerships Jesus’ Economy holds with artisans around the world to bring mentorship and hope.

If you’re still looking for a Father’s Day gift for your dad this year, consider buying him a t-shirt and telling him the story of one man in Uganda courageously taking a stand against poverty.

Fair trade changes lives every day. Join us in bringing hope through mentorship.

Part of Jesus’ Economy’s mission is to empower people to live lives of hope—hope in Jesus, and in a better future. For the month of July, we focused on empowering women, telling you their stories and the stories of biblical women. Here’s a round up of our journey.

I SAW JESUS ONCE

What does it mean to truly follow Jesus? John Barry tells us about the strength of Kari, a woman in Bihar, India, and Mary, Jesus’ mother. Both of these women are extraordinary examples of what it means to be a true disciple, but what does that mean for us?

MARY IS MUCH MORE THAN JUST JESUS’ MOTHER

John Barry discusses Mary’s character in this VLOG. He explores who Mary really was, and what it means to be a follower of Christ.

HOW TO CREATE JOBS IN BIHAR, INDIA

For this video blog, we tell about Jesus’ Economy’s plan for empowering women and creating jobs impoverished Bihar, India.

HOW WE BECOME WHO WE ARE MEANT TO BE

What is a hero? In this “Living for Jesus” post, John Barry talks about 
the faith of Deborah the prophetess, and how God used her to do great things.

BECOMING A HERO: DEBORAH THE PROPHETESS

3 WAYS TO END SEX TRAFFICKING AND 6 GROUPS FIGHTING TRAFFICKING

In this empowering women post, Lucy Maude presents the tragedy of sex trafficking, and shares a plan to stop and fight the growing epidemic.

WHAT STRENGTH REALLY LOOKS LIKE

Priscilla was a strong woman and disciple. Charlotte VanWerven explores Priscilla’s ministry of supporting Paul, and discusses what true strength looks like.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO CO-LABOR WITH GOD?

In this video blog, we talk about Priscilla and how her story demonstrates what it means to co-labor with God.

FAIR TRADE EMPOWERS WOMEN

A fair trade business model is more than just good economics. It’s a moral imperative. Guest writer Leah Wise shares with us how fair trade is impacting communities and empowering women.

FINDING HOPE DURING TRAGEDY

Tragedy often defines us. Charlotte shares the story of Anite, an artisan that Jesus’ Economy empowers, and how she chose to stay strong in the midst of trying circumstances.

BEING A MISSIONARY AT HOME

 

In this “Living for Jesus” post, Charlotte gives us a picture of Dorcas from the Bible, and shows us how we can all be missionaries wherever we are.

LETTING OUR DREAMS FOLD INTO GOD’S DREAMS

In this video, we hear the story of Tabitha (Dorcas), and how she shows us what it means to surrender our dreams to God.

THE STRENGTH TO REBUILD YOUR LIFE: JANET’S STORY

There is true strength in being able to face a disaster and push forward—in working hard despite everything that’s gone wrong. Charlotte tells us the story of Janet Ntakirutimana of Rwanda, who exudes this kind of strength.

THE MODERN FAMILY AND GOD’S FAMILY

Some people are blessed with supportive families. For others, this has never been their reality. Sarah Reeves talks about our family in Christ as she shares the story of Esther.

TO JOURNEY INTO THE UNKNOWN: RUTH’S STORY

The biblical character Ruth provides us with an example of what it means to follow God—even in the most dire circumstances. In this video, Chief Projects Officer Kalene Barry shares why she has always admired Ruth.

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