Today is Fair Tuesday, one of our favorite days of the year here at Threads Worldwide! Of course, we think about the impact of fair trade all year round, but we relish the spotlight Fair Tuesday provides.
So while we have your attention, we wanted to share a story of how fair trade changed the life of one of our Artisan Partners, Megala:
Megala grew up in Bangladesh with her parents. They were deeply impoverished, and the stress of earning a living permeated the family’s entire life. They moved to a larger city with the hope of finding work, but poverty followed them, as did the anxiety surrounding it. Megala’s parents divorced, and when Megala’s mother eventually remarried, her new husband was also desperate to earn an income. He kept secret a plan to use Megala as a means of earning money: he planned to sell her in the sex trade. Megala’s stepfather took her on a trip, deceiving her by saying they were visiting an aunt and uncle. Instead, he took her to a hotel where he knew he would be compensated in exchange for her innocence.
She was 12 years old.
By a stroke of incredible luck, local authorities happened to be investigating sex trafficking in the area and intervened before Megala could be forced into prostitution.
Megala has since moved into a long-term aftercare home where she is safe, and where she started taking jewelry-making classes. She enjoys the craft, and uses her skills to earn an income as she attends school. She’s even been able to open her own bank account! Megala has a hopeful future now. She aspires to become a social worker, and plans to return to the slums of her childhood to help other children. She hopes that sharing her story will empower children to pursue a future as bright as hers.
Not every story ends as happily as Megala’s. But for the women who can escape this horrifying fate, a marketable skill like jewelry-making allows them to support themselves — and truly changes their lives.
Today, and every day, consider and be proud of the impact your dollars can have on someone like Megala.
Who will you empower this Fair Tuesday?