What’s the story behind these beautiful bracelets? >> Th(E) bracelet is an initiative that aims to improve and provide educational opportunities for women in rural areas of Guatemala. The project came to be through a partnership between Global Goods Partners and Paola Pullin, a senior at Barnard College. A Guatemalan native, Paola had always been appalled by the significant levels of poverty and lack of education in her country, mainly among girls in the rural areas. Thus, she set about looking for contributors that would help her turn these girls’ dream of pursuing a proper education into a reality.
How it works >> All bracelets are produced by young artisanal craftswomen employed by GGP Partner, Kiej de los Bosques, in rural Guatemala. Every 16 bracelets sold will provide one year of education for a young girl in this region. The profits generated by the sale of Th(E) bracelet on the GGP website and elsewhere, are channeled back to the girls who made them as an educational scholarship that covers half of their annual tuition. The other half, the girls pay themselves with the income they receive from producing the bracelets.
Girls Education and Impact of Project >> Th(E) bracelet’s main goal is to contribute to the common good by educating and simultaneously empowering women. The project seeks to create opportunities for these women so that next generations of Guatemalan women thrive and become active members of their society. With your help, Th(E) bracelet hopes to fund as many scholarships as possible to further the role of women in Guatemala and in the world.
Targeting education is so important to this project because it helps resolve other issues that stem from high levels of illiteracy and in turn, perpetuate the cycle of poverty and disease. When women are educated, their labor opportunities increase, as well as their quality of life. Th(E) bracelet not only provides them with an education, but also with the opportunity of having a stable source of income, which comes from the craftwork and labor production of the bracelet.
With a source of income, women’s purchasing power increases and parallel to it, their economic independence. Economic independence gives women autonomy within their households and helps alleviate the problem of male supremacy, which is predominant in the rural areas of Guatemala. Most importantly, women are found to reinvest back to their families more than men do. By empowering a woman and increasing her purchasing power, she is better able to provide for her children and seek the best opportunities for them. Thus, the benefits of helping one woman trickle down to her children and to the community they form a part of. Initiatives like these are key to producing sustainable change, not only in Guatemala, but in other developing countries as well.