My dear friend JoAnna Dorman Blackstock and I had been dreaming of working with a women's collective that can create the signature pieces of the Soul Sparkle Jewelry collection for us. We'd been donating the proceeds but really wanted more of a collaborative relationship where we can help women create a way to make a sustainable income for themselves and their children.
Before my service trip to Nicaragua in July, 2016 I had been reaching out to several collectives with very little response and I was beginning to get discouraged. But timing is always perfect, isn't it? The reason none of those others worked out is because I needed to meet these women.
This collective of lovely ladies in Padre Ramos, Nicaragua introduced to us by Donald Montgomery of Monty's Beach Lodge. These women are raising their children all alone because all the men have abandoned them. I shared with them the vision we have to provide the tools, skills, and resources for them to create our beautiful collection while providing a way to generate an income to make their big dream come true, a sustainable farm where they can all live and work together and be independent. They are so excited to work with us!
We also talked about providing ways for them to improve their nutrition since they get very little nutrients from the foods they consume. Moringa grows like weeds which is an amazing superfood and it would be wonderful if we could get some of this for the women to eat and possibly grow, harvest, and sell as another way to generate income. Now Yascara, the leader of the collective, has been gifted a 25 acre farm by her father.
The women are starting to plant moringa seeds today so they can eat them, harvest and sell them. Yascara has also gifted each of the 10 women a lot for a house on the farm since their current homes are at risk of being destroyed.
We just broke ground in March, 2017 on the first home and still need to raise funds for the remaining homes and for the farm to be restored so it can become a source of revenue. There is much more work to be done. This will be our project for #SoulSparkleSeva in 2017 and I would love for you to join us if you feel called.
I'd like to introduce you to the Padre Ramos women's collective, the land they will soon call home and the children that will hopefully grow up with enough food in their belly and a safe place to live, with mothers that know they are not alone. Thank you for being a part of this journey!
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