September is National Sewing Month, Made for Freedom is celebrating it by highlighting our partners this month. This week our final blog for National Sewing Month we are featuring 3 Strands.
In Cambodia women are making bracelets, cotton bags and more every day thanks to 3 Strands. In February 2011, Ken and Kris CEO of Apricot Lane met with Don and Bridget Brewster of Agape International Missions. They discussed the growing need for these women and how they could help. Agape International Missions has always had a goal, to help create a trafficking free world. 3 Strands was then created with four missions in mind: prevent children from sex trafficking, rescue victims, restore victims and equip them to be able to reintegrate back into society.
For Ken Peterson this was very close to his heart. Working with these women helped him and his wife in their decision to adopt. Ken says,"it has been amazing and has expanded their hearts more for these women." 3 Strands workers are provided with a fair wage more than three times the going rate. They have health insurance and work only Monday through Friday. Every bracelet made by these women is a step closer in helping create the trafficking free world. Each bracelet is handmade and has each women`s own signature in the design. The growth of 3 Strands has been amazing, but Ken of Apricot Lane says, "Money really is not the goal here." For these women, where they live, society considers them garbage and to be thrown away. 3 Strands is wanting these women to feel their self-worth and to have a dignified employment. The factory the women work at is a safe work environment, free of predators and sweatshop conditions.
Ken and Don spoke to CNN showing how these girls find strength and dignity in what they are doing and how it empowers them. They also recently built and opened housing for these girls. For most, it is the first time they have indoor working plumbing and a safe place to sleep. Seeing the girls so happy and they burst into song and dance when moving in. Ken at the sight of this broke down in tears. I know Ken and us here at Made for Freedom agree, we want that for all the victims. 3 Strands is consistently looking into how to grow more to help save more victims, partnering with other stores such as ourselves and creating awareness. The ultimate thing is at the end of the day, we are all human, but human trafficking is inhuman.