Recently my friends at Matte Black introduced me to Same Sky, a jewelry brand that helps women in Rwanda, most of whom were affected by Rwandan Genocide, to rebuild their lives. Same Sky gives stable and sustainable jobs to women and empowers them to be independent and strong. That's something I can get behind - fashion for a cause.
Poking around the website, I found some stories about the artisans themselves. I encourage you to check it out. Here's a quote I found particularly compelling:
"In 1996, Brigitte had just found out that she was diagnosed HIV+ and was experiencing debilitating migraines from an intense head injury she received during the Rwandan Genocide. When we met Brigitte, she was living as an orphan. She had no family and no siblings. She had survived rape, borne children from it, and had difficulty nurturing them in the way they needed— she had no means to provide for them, and struggled daily with finding her purpose as she reconciled the horrors of the genocide.
Same Sky began employing Brigitte in 2008, and she has since told us that she feels employment gives her reason to live. She can provide for her children, has a new life and family, and her health has drastically improved. Brigitte now has health insurance, is able to visit the doctor regularly, and no longer gets headaches. She recently moved out of public housing, bought her own house, and can afford electricity, a true accomplishment. She is proud— strengthened by her independence and ability to care for her family."
What a truly remarkable story. It is a tremendous achievement that a small company like Same Sky can employ upwards of 80+ women in this way and improve the lives of those that are far from us, but yet, live under the same sky.