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International Women's Day 2016 ~ Rooted Beauty

Harvest Bridge ·

On this day, we celebrate women. 

Though South Asia has a long way to go in women's rights, we are thankful for the women and men who put their time, finances, energy, and tears into this fight. To those individuals who are not only changing laws, but are working to change hearts and minds - Thank you!

That's why we are so thankful for our partnership with Rooted Beauty! 

"Rooted Beauty was developed with a vision to change the lives of women around the world through innovative and healthy natural skincare products. We are rooted in positively impacting our customers, the environment and women around the world."

Through their Woman2Woman project, each Rooted Beauty skincare product helps a woman escape from extreme poverty and trafficking. 

Harvest Bridge is a partner in this! In Bangladesh, India, and Myanmar (Burma) we use the funds raised by Woman2Woman to provide women with vocational training and counseling. 

Some women now own cows, or a produce stand, some are cooks, or maids, or gardeners, etc.  The skills they learn are as diverse as they are! As single women, they are able to provide for themselves and for their children.   

This breaks a cycle of poverty and repression by opening the door for these women to take responsibility and work with excellence. They can take out loans, their children can receive education, and they can have stable place to live. 

Gloria* was one of these women. 

Gloria's husband died when she was only 22 years old.  She worked as a day laborer to survive with her three children. She could not afford to pay school fees or buy school uniforms for her children, but a local church and some friends helped her for a time.

She and her children lived in an apartment but they struggled to pay the rent. For years a man lived with them, but rather than helping Gloria, he borrowed money from her friends and then abandoned the family. For a long time she could not afford to keep up with the rent. Many men tried to take advantage of her vulnerable condition, and under the pressure of her need, Gloria did many things that she regrets.

Because she was not able to pay the rent, the police were sent to demand that she vacate her apartment. She and her family were forced out. She was 40.  

Then, she was found by our national partners in Southern India. They showed her love that she had never experienced. We shared Gloria's story with Rooted Beauty. With $400, her life, and the lives of her son and two daughters, were changed forever. 

A year later, Gloria is now working as a cook for a south Indian family, earning nearly $150 per month, and living in a rented house.  One of her daughters works in a vegetable shop, and earns and additional $90 per month. Her son works as a painter. And her other daughter attends college! 

They are safe, happy, and have a loving fellowship.

And that's just one of many stories! 

Take a look at their Completed Projects to see more of Rooted Beauty's impact through not just Harvest Bridge, but several other organizations as well! And while you're there, invest in their products, knowing that you'll be changing lives like Gloria's and her children. 

Happy International Women's Day!