Fusing fashion and philanthropy is a beautiful thing and a concept I fully endorse. As a budding charity maven in Washington, I welcome giving back through fashion. This week, Glamazon Diaries pauses for a worthy cause close to my heart: Same Sky Bracelets. Now a favorite of many celebrities including Donna Karan, Alicia Keys and Halle Berry, Same Sky offers Rwandan women living with HIV/AIDS a way to support themselves and their families through jewelry making. The bracelets are absolutely gorgeous and ultra chic, something that would go with an evening gown or casual wear. Read on for more about Same Sky.
The United Nations estimates more than 250,000 women were raped, and as a result, infected with HIV/AIDS on a massive scale during the Rwandan Genocide of 1994. The majority of these women living with HIV/AIDS are destitute. To rebuild their lives and communities it is essential these women are given the opportunity to earn an income and provide food, education, and healthcare for their families. Same Sky does just that.
Same Sky is a trade-not-aid initiative in Rwanda. We provide employment opportunities to women struggling to lift themselves out of poverty. Instead of a hand-out, we give these women a hand up and the chance to rebuild their lives.
Money is independence, and independence is dignity and choice. We listened to the women, and their overwhelming cry was – We want the opportunity to work! We have invested in these women’s future and invite you to join us in supporting them.
The sale of Same Sky bracelets directly supports these women working in artisan cooperatives in Rwanda. These women artisans are able to earn substantially more than the average wage of most women in sub-Saharan Africa. Working in these cooperatives, the women find a forum where they can openly discuss and begin to tackle the social concerns of their communities such as poverty, family planning, HIV/AIDS, and violence against women. For these women, joining a cooperative can be the first step toward, not only, financial stability but rehabilitation, and hope for the future.
Same Sky is partnered with, Gahaya Links, an organization that employs local Rwandan women. Gahaya Links is an inspirational advocate for women in Rwanda working to bring them out of the shadows and lift them and their families out of poverty.