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Bell Flower Necklace

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$55.00
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NEW - this exquisite 1.5" long sterling silver pendant, is modeled on a flower that grows on vines near our Jalpaiguri jewelry studio in Northeast India. 18" sterling silver rope chain with lobster claw clasp. Designed by Nancy Edwards, who explains her inspiration, "I carved this hanging blossom with wonderful memories of my time spent teaching the Jalpaiguri jewelry team. The shelter housemother and I would regularly walk the students from the shelter home to the jewelry studio three blocks away. So, four times daily we passed this flowering tree leaning over a wall on the side of the road. If Housemother was not paying attention, (she didn't approve of bringing the dirty roadside flowers into the home), the girls would run to gather up as many flowers as they could before being noticed. One day, to everyone's surprise, Housemother started leaping at the high branches of the tree to grab fresh flowers, which she then distributed to anyone. We all giggled the rest of the way home".

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Bell Flower Necklace

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Designed by Nancy Edwards, who explains her inspiration, "I carved this hanging blossom with wonderful memories of my time spent teaching the Jalpaiguri jewelry team. The shelter housemother and I would regularly walk the students from the shelter home to the jewelry studio three blocks away. So, four times daily we passed this flowering tree leaning over a wall on the side of the road. If Housemother was not paying attention, (she didn't approve of bringing the dirty roadside flowers into the home), the girls would run to gather up as many flowers as they could before being noticed. One day, to everyone's surprise, Housemother started leaping at the high branches of the tree to grab fresh flowers, which she then distributed to anyone. We all giggled the rest of the way home".

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Calcutta Jewelry TeamThe MBS Jewelry Centers – including the pilot program in Calcutta, the Mumbai Center, and the Jalpaiguri/Darjeeling Center  are some of our most exciting new initiatives. These centers are training some of India’s first women goldsmiths, offering intensive (paid) high level skills training, followed by long-term, fairly paid employment.

Survivors at the centers are designing and manufacturing jewelry in precious and semi-precious metals. They also serve as peer trainers for new trainees. Jewelry making in India has traditionally only been done by men, and by members of specific castes. It is a highly respected and prestigious skill which enables survivors to overcome the stigma of trafficking and forced prostitution.  

Many of our artisans are survivors of human trafficking and brothel slavery who have been rescued in raids and have spent several years in local aftercare shelters are also in need of help and opportunities if they are to leave the shelters, live independently, and support themselves.  Others are at high risk because they were born into brothel communities or in rural villages with a high incidence of trafficking.  Some are survivors or child marriage, severe domestic violence or other human rights violations.

Typically, girls are trafficked between the ages of 11 and 14 from impoverished rural areas in India, Bangladesh or Nepal. They are sold as slaves in brothels, where they endure severe physical, sexual and emotional abuse and torture. Those fortunate enough to be rescued from slavery face continuing extreme challenges in rejoining mainstream society. It is a struggle to rejoin society because of social stigma and a lack of job options, education or skills.

Survivor Jeweler in Made By Survivors Mumbai Program

We see a dramatic change in the behavior and confidence of our survivors through this program. At first they are timid and unwillingly to look you in the eye. After six months they are laughing, speaking out, and maintaining eye contact. After a year, they are solving production problems, and challenging us to match their determination and energy. We see survivors progress from shelter-dependence to total independence. Many of our survivors are remarkable for their courage in rescuing others, spreading awareness of trafficking and slavery, and advocating for the rights of women and girls.