Empowering Women to Design Their Own Bright Futures.

Bright Future Brass Hoop earrings

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Regular Price: $30.00

Special Price: $18.00

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Product Description

Light and exuberant, these 2" long brass earrings are a new take on the classic hoop earring! These delicate fair trade earrings are hand-cut, hammer-textured, and mounted on sterling silver ear wires by survivors at the MBS Jewelry centers in Calcutta and Mumbai. Designed by Dianna Badalament.

  • Brass earrings on sterling silver earring wires
  • Handcrafted in India
  • 2" long, exclusive of ear wire
  • Ethical and sustainable

Becky Bavinger, who sBoys growing up in Calcutta red light areapent three years living in India,helping to launch Made By Survivors' projects, including school sponsorship programs and the Destiny center, tells this incredible story about a nighttime visit to a project in a Calcutta red light area: "As it got darker, the older boys at the center told me that I should get going or I may have some problems walking to the bus stop. To get to the main road I have to walk through 3 long lanes of brothels, and the men in this area are violent and often drunk. One time I was even asked "how much?" So these boys offered to be my bodyguard and walk me to the bus stop. Five of these boys surrounded me, one holding my hand on each side, two in front leading the way, and one behind me. As we walked, many of the men made comments that I thankfully didn't understand and these boys just kept their eyes straight ahead, occasionally pausing to tell the men to show some respect. We got to the bus stop and they waited with me until my bus came. They even instructed the driver where to drop me off and to not overcharge me. On my way home I thought about how different these boys are from the ones they were protecting me from. I hope their background, and their exposure to women's suffering, will make them advocates for change instead of falling into the cycle of abuse. But I do have hope for them, and they have hope for their community. One of the more mature boys had assured me, "Becky di, we'll find you a good husband who will treat you like a queen."   We dedicate these Bright Futures earrings to Becky's bodyguards, and to all boys who care about the rights of girls and women.

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Bright Future Brass Hoop earrings

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At Made By Survivors we are always talking about the goal of our Artisans designing their own bright futures. We believe education, employment and hope are what will make a Survivor "on target" to designing that bright future. The Bright Future Earrings are in essence a deconstructed bullseye target, with a great texture and high polish, bright finish. For the young women in our Jewelry Studios, metalsmithing and learning the jewelry business gives them skills to help facilitate the building of empowered, independent and fulfilling lives.

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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.