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[Jocelyn is an intern with the Center for Global Impact—World Next Door’s partner organization in Cambodia.
In addition to writing and taking pictures for CGI’s blogs, newsletters and promotional materials,
Jocelyn is a freelance photojournalist for WND.]
The Center for Global Impact’s (CGI) mission is to “engage and empower the poor”.
Although I’m constantly reminded of this whenever I submit a piece of writing to the organization, in my mind I’m often still guilty of thinking it solely fights the social injustice of human trafficking.
I knew all the facts about byTavi—CGI’s longest and most successful vocational training initiative. How it employs women ranging from young adult singles to widowed grandmothers. How the women receive a salary each week and are paid per product. How they also get all sorts of unheard of benefits in the Southeast Asian textile industry including maternity leave and holiday bonuses.
It all sounded great, and the women are certainly appreciative. But I just hadn’t put it together how this project fit with CGI Daughters or the Culinary Training Center—until a tearful recognition one afternoon as I was completing interviews for the “Meet Your Seamstress” profiles featured on the byTavi website.
My translator noticed the tears, and as I looked up from my notebook where I was scribbling, “I can now help my daughter…” I realized I was talking to one of the CGI Daughter’s mothers.
Suddenly everything CGI does made sense.
I realized this woman lives in a community where her neighbors regularly sell their young female relatives just to make enough money to survive. While her daughter is directly ending the cycles of poverty and trafficking, she is too by choosing a better future for both of them—one in which they can provide for themselves with dignity and confidence.
The woman shared how happy she was to find work at her age and how now she has the money she needs to not only take care of her family, but also her home.
Participating in byTavi has radically transformed the life of this woman and her daughter. Not only have they been engaged, but they also have been empowered—just like CGI promised.
The mothers and daughters of byTavi and CGI Daughters aren’t the only ones being impacted though. Mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts and girlfriends in the U.S., and even in other countries abroad, are also getting involved in CGI’s mission simply by being fashionable.
Join the countless women and girls who have already fallen in love with byTavi’s stylishly practical products and see for yourself how each byTavi handbag is made and how purses really can help assemble proud and sustainable lives in Cambodia!
- Want to make more than a fashion statement? All of byTavi’s beautifully functional and fairly traded products can be purchased through their website.
- Interested in hosting a trunk show? Sign-up here. It’s quick, easy and a lot of fun! The products regularly sell out.
- Pray for the lovely ladies of byTavi. While their lives are certainly better and happier because of their participation in the project, it’s hard work being a full-time employee, managing a household and raising a family! They could use some extra encouragement, determination and strength.
About the Author: Jocelyn is a freelance photojournalist with World Next Door. She studied Creative Writing and Missions at Concordia University Irvine. She enjoys reading, writing and traveling. She also likes butterflies.