because of you
because of you I am empowered. because of you I have purpose and passion in my work. because of you I can help support my family.
because of you I have the courage to travel half way across the world to tell you how proud I am of you, and how much I delight in your work.
you, sweet Grace, have changed my life.
from the outside this scenario might appear backwards. but don’t be fooled. When you sat next to me at lunch today, and told me that you have the skills you have because of me, I cried.
I cried because you have no idea what your strength, my friend has done for me.
your story is one of deep loss, and heartache, but you have overcome.
when the world would have told you to give up after you lost your father, aunts, and older brother in the genocide and were forced to flee your village at 5 years old holding tightly your mothers hand…you didn’t give up .
you believed in yourself, and you had hope.
even when the world laughed and mocked you for not being able to your education, you instead pursued an opportunity to go to sewing school.
When I came to Rwanda 3 years ago as a new ambassador, and heard of the opportunity to partner with Grace to send her to sewing school, I had no idea that all these years later I would actually be getting to design and sew with her! I couldn’t have imagined on a Sunday afternoon in October that a friendship would be formed between 22 year old Grace and I. Her’s is the story I will be telling at all of my trunk shows this fall.
I meant it when I said today that you (and all of our Noonday artisans!) give me purpose. you give me something to believe in, a way to spend my life for the poor and the oppressed from my small town in west Texas.
It’s not just me, I know I speak for the group of 600+ ambassadors who are back at home right now advocating on your behalf. We are championing you in living rooms all across America and are so proud to have the opportunity to share your stories with the world.
You inspire us, bring us hope, and encourage us with your joy and courage. You all are my heros! [ and I can’t wait to show off the amazing #styleforjustice line to my friends on August 7th!!]
we work together, you and I.
like a cord that is not easily broken, we need each other, to stand back-to-back and conquer.
we can’t do it on our own. two are better than one.
“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Today I sat on the floor at the co-op and watched Kelle and Esperanza braid a 3 cord strand of fabric and as Kelle held one end, and Esperanza held the other I got this great picture of the importance of partnership. That fabric would not have been completed had one of those women been braiding alone. It took both of them, working together, harnessing their gifts and in the end creating something beautiful together.
Noonday Collection is committed to partnering with artisan groups all over the world, not just with our sewing co-op in Rwanda, but also with our growing artisan group in Uganda, our new partnership in Haiti and fabulous groups in 7 other countries!
Noonday is bringing hope, dignity and economic opportunity to vunerable people all over the world, and it makes my heart so giddy to know that we are a part of that movement. the great and amazing thing is – YOU can be a part too! Sign up to be an ambassador – or if you want to get your feet wet, concider being a part of our first ever #nationwidetrunkshow on August 7th by connecting with a local ambassador and opening up your home to host!
Be sure you visit our #styleforjustice trip page to get more information on IJM + Noonday Collection and sign up for exclusive updates from our trip!