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Silver Leaf Long Necklace

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$40.00
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Product Description

Elegant and simple sterling silver leaf pendant, strung on extra long 30" silver filled chain for Boho chic style. Designed by Theresa Kwong of TK Metal Arts and made by survivors at the MBS Jewelry Studios in India.

Theresa says of her modern and elegant design: "I use this leaf to depict healing and renewal from the tragic past of the survivors. May the leaf's wearer amend any past mistakes and welcomes changes for the better."

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Silver Leaf Long Necklace

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Theresa says, "My design sensibility comes from my training as an architect. I divide my time between being a metalsmith and an architect. A forging technique that I employ most is anticlastic raising. Each hammer blow slowly coaxes thin sheets of metal into strong but delicate-looking organic forms, much like the flowing shapes of a Frank Gehry structure." Theresa's aesthetic for strong yet delicate forms can be seen in her Leaf Pendant exclusively for MBS. About working with MBS, Theresa says, "It is an honor to be able to work with my friends at MBS, to help others who experienced challenged lifes, and to share the joy of creating. Jewelry making has transformed my life, and I hope it will do the same for the MBS members."

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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.