12 Days of Freedom with Freeset logo

One of my greatest life highlights – and most-treasured among many wonderful blogging opportunities the past eight years – was my blogger trip with Compassion International to Calcutta, India.  Prior to that trip, the people of India were barely on my radar; but having left behind a piece of my heart, perpetual ache for the lost and impoverished there strums through my veins.

How could I ever forget?  The sights, scents, sounds, tastes and touches of this foreign land pierced my senses, branded my soul, but most remarkably, seeded great hope.  How in the world could I see hope in the face of such dire circumstance?  I witnessed first-hand how an organization can work with locals to make a substantive difference in the lives of those living in bondage and poverty.  By relieving many of the burdens for one member of a family, it benefited all.  I saw this during home visits, and had the privilege of listening to personal testimonies of parents whose children took part in a Compassion project.

Ever since that trip, anytime I hear mention of Calcutta I pay close attention; which is why, when I first learned about Freeset, I became a fan of its work there.  A quick explanation if you aren’t familiar:

Freeset Collage

Freeset is a fair trade business located in one of the largest, most infamous sex districts in Calcutta, India, where more than 10,000 women stand in line selling their bodies. They are often trafficked from poor families in rural India and then forced into prostitution. Freeset started with just 20  women brave enough to seize the opportunity to leave the sex trade behind, and has now grown to almost 200 women (their stories are heartbreaking but hope-filled). The women at Freeset are employed in dignity, able to move from being the product, to making products. They receive a fair wage, medical insurance, reading and writing classes, daycare for their children, and retirement. Because of the choice Freeset offers for freedom, it provides the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty and exploitation for these women once and for all. {Please click to read the full story behind Freeset.}

Empowering women to help themselves:
a beautiful, significant work.

I count it as one of my blogging gifts that Freeset (USA) president, Kristi Griem, became a friend of mine a few years ago.  While a friend to many, she’s a downright freedom advocate for those who need someone to champion their cause–in Freeset’s instance, women who believed their only hope for survival is in selling themselves for next to nothing, or who are forced to prostitute themselves by no choice of their own.  When she asked me to write for Freeset’s 12 Days of Freedom, I had to say yes (surely it is my privilege to introduce at least a few of you to Freeset for the first time–let me know if that’s the case?).

Rather than me telling you more about the organization, I’d rather you click around their site and read the tabs that pique your interest.

In response to yesterday’s post, today’s Worshipful :: Cheerful Giving :: Call to Action?  Go shopping at Freeset!  Especially for your friends and family who are socially minded (and for anyone on your list), Freeset will provide them with an attractive, quality product and support the women who created each piece.  It won’t cost you a fortune, either.  A few samples–

Freeset Wine Bag Unisex gift

If you’re looking for opportunities for year-end giving, please consider investing in future freedom for at-risk women and girls.

Freedom Initiatives is a trusted partner of Freeset and your support by contribution of any size is going to change lives on the other side of the world.  Which is pretty amazing when you take time to think about it.

Click any of the links below to learn more about Freeset, and be sure to Like their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter.

Freeset White Logo FINAL


Robin Heart Signature - Green




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