This has been a bit of a transitional year. We re-branded Made By Survivors Jewelry, as Relevée, which means to rise up, and increased the women at Made By Survivors Jewelry Centers responsibilities. They have risen to the challenge.
We have given the India staff the reigns to design and produce the new styles for this coming holiday season. Wow, have they amazed us! There are over 30 new designs that will be released this holiday season and beyond. The creativity and style are beautiful and trendy. There are some pieces I can't wait to get my hands on. Check out their new jewlery at www.Relevee.com.
In addition to new designs they have also taken responsibility for meeting production and packaging needs. They ladies are running the administrative details like champs and learning new skills that can be transferable to almost any job, should they so choose. Hopefully, they don't though leave us anytime soon.
According to Kelly Services (an employee services organization), in India college graduates employed banks earn on average a monthly salary of about 36,000 rupees. Last month our top earning artisan earned just under 38,000 rupees!!! Over half the women in our program, who have been working for at least 3 years, are earning a wage at least 5 times higher than a person with the same education level! It's YOUR support which makes this all possible!
Thank you for helping the survivors at Made By Survivors Jewelry Centers rise up:
Watch for more growth as these ladies are more than survivors. They are conquerors.
Made By Survivors Jewelry has a new name, Relevée. The artisans at the Made By Survivors Jewelry Centers requested a name change for the jewelry line. The wanted a name that reflected fashion and moved away from their survivor status, as they have moved away from being identified as survivors to women with secure and financially stable careers.
Relevée means ‘to rise up’ in French. Our artisans are upliftd and uplifiting others. They have trained to become some of the first women goldsmiths in South Asia. Their skill guarantees them a place in a respected profession, earning a middle class wage that transforms their lives and families. The stunning jewelry they make empowers them to get free and remain free forever from poverty and exploitation.
100% of proceeds of Relevée go to Made By Survivors, a tax-exempt charity serving women and children. Made By Survivors gives survivors of human rights abuses a safe and loving place to heal and rebuild their lives with shelter, education, job training, and employment programs. Relevée jewelry helps pay for all of these projects, making you, and the world we share, ever more beautiful inside and out.
The Relevée jewelry dreamed up with freedom, beauty, and modern style in mind. Style to make you feel beautiful, inside and out.
As we prepare to launch into the Spring collection it has been amazing to see the new designs that will be added to the line. But even more amazing is that the designs are coming from the women in the program.
The jewelry centers began in 2010. Our goal was to provide meaningful employment that paid above a living wage so that the survivors and at risk women in the shelters and community could move out of poverty and as well as away from the stigma of sex slave. Now in 2014, the women in our programs our designing their futures. As they have mastered the skills of creating jewelry designed by our guest jewelers, they have launched into their own creativeness and designed their own pieces for production into the spring line. Their pieces tell stories of hope and moving forward.
Women in the Made By Survivors Jewelry Centers are now the trainers, supervisors, and designers. As they are promoted from within, new survivor trainess see a future of empowerment and finincial stability that they can also dream of.
Look for our survivor designs to be launched this spring around Mother's Day!
There has been a lot of growth during the past year for Made By Survivors Jewelry Centers. We have expanded the program in Calcutta so that survivors from various shelters can attend to work. This gives the girls more independence and freedom and allows them more control over their decisions rather than the shelter they stay in controlling all their decisions. It is another move towards freedom.
Of course along with that comes more responsiblity, which all of the girls are not quite ready for yet. It is similar to your teenager getting her first job and the freedom with having their own income to spend, but also the responsibility for showing up to work on time, instead of stopping to hang out with friends and go shopping. Many lessons in freedom and responsibility are being learned.
The training at the newestest Made By Survivors Jewelry Center in Jalpaiguri is coming along well. Soma S and Soma H who were orginial trainees in the Calcutta program (when it began in 2010) travel regularly to teach the new jewelers additional skills. As the new girls gain skills and confidence it is wonderful to watch the Soma's continue to grow in leadership.
Thank you for your support as Made By Survivors Jewelry Centers grow and hire new survivors. Please continue to support the freedom of these survivors through purchasing their spectacular designs on our website at MadeBySurvivors.com. You can also make donations through gifts of empowerment on our website. At this time we are closing the project on Global Giving, but look for new projects in the future. Thank you!
The survivors at the Made By Survivors Jewelry Centers earn a salary, plus receive production and design bonuses. Our goal is for the women who were in the sex trade, or at risk for being lured into it, to earn an income way above the poverty line.
Most of these women have come from utterly impoverished conditions. So when they begin earning money of any sort the men in their lives: husbands, fathers, brothers are excited. But after time the women in Made By Survivors programs begin earning more than many of their family men. This brings about other dire circumstances. Recently several of our women were either beaten by men in their family or their bank accounts were drained of money even when the woman's name was the only one on the account.
The women who were in danger have been moved into the shelter for protection. We are working hard to teach life skills and protections for these women and others to prevent domestic abuse and theft. We are investigating ways to help women protect their income as well. As a social enterprise we care not only for the product being made but for the lives of the women/survivors employed at Made By Survivors.
It is important to raise the value of women in the eyes of the men in India. Made By Survivors raises the social status and income opportunities for these survivors. These women contribute to their families caring for their homes, making imporvements, purchasing food and houseand goods, and educating their children. The inherited and cultural views men in India have about women must change.
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Co-founder and Executive Director