Political complexity, steady streams of refugees, and lingering effects of violence make Iraq a difficult place for vulnerable people to carve out a living. You see, the tragedy of violence goes far beyond physical injuries and death. It creates a cycle of poverty, desperation, and violence, affecting families and entire communities for generations.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Our newest empowerment initiative, Sisterhood Candles, interrupts the cycle of poverty and violence and helps women in Iraq rise above the odds stacked against them.
Candle making creates a sustainable source of income, but it also provides a dignified profession for women who have lost so much, and so much of themselves, to war.
Many of them are going beyond just earning a living:
“I will change my life to be better than before,” declared Nazahat, one of our candle makers and a mother of five.
Driven by her love of family, she now earns the equivalent of three-and-a-half times the average minimum wage in Iraq and has even started training other women in the art of candle making.
Sisterhood Candles provided an opportunity for her to re-create herself while rebuilding her life, and she ran with it.
But we’re also excited because the impact of this program is about to grow. In the coming weeks, Sisterhood Candles will expand to provide hope and opportunity for women who have recently been displaced by ISIS.
A growing number of people who need help rebuilding their lives. And you are rising to the occasion.
Each Sisterhood Candle is hand-painted and hand-poured in Iraq by women affected by violence. The beautiful vessels holding each candle can easily be repurposed afterward, serving as a lasting reminder of women’s strength and determination to rebuild their lives for years to come.
Nazahat told us she “wants the whole world to know what an Iraqi woman can do.” Every purchase of Sisterhood Candles will help make her wish a reality and fuel her audacious dream to build back better.
It will also transform your Christmas shopping into an exercise in empowerment—and inspire the person you gift it to.
Please join us by supporting these women on their journey to remake themselves and their lives.