This blog is called “their story and yours.” Our business slogan is “At the corner of their story and yours.” Our hearts are to connect the stories of the producers of the goods that we sell to the stories of those who are buying them. It is the cornerstone of why we exist. The Intersection isn’t about making lots of money or about one more place to shop. It is about an attempt to see the lives of those in difficult situations improved and enriched.
It is with this in our minds and hearts that we have sent Meghann off on a world tour. Twelve days ago she left Canadian shores, and she won’t be back for another 6. Where did she go, you ask? And what is she doing? She’s on a mission to find “their stories,” and to bring them back here, along with new products. It is one thing to know the stories of the groups that we buy from, but so much richer to know the stories of “Susie” or “Sally” from these groups that we can share with our customers. When she returns we will blog more with the stories of what she encountered, but for now, this is how her trip broke down:
Meghann’s first stop on the journey was Albania, where she visited our small working group in Sauk i Vjeter. She was there to meet with Kathi and Roza who have been working hard to keep things running there, to iron out some legal issues, to try and find shipping solutions, and to spend time with the amazing women who work for House of Harmony. We’re sure she also snuck in some qofte and suflaqe time, as well.
From Albania Meghann (and Ally who is travelling with her) flew to Delhi, India. A lot of the products that we buy from anti-trafficking projects come from India, where the terrible trade in humans is a huge industry. Meghann spent some time with a group who are rescuing girls in one of the most heartbreaking situations we have encountered yet. Stay tuned for the stories once Meghann is home. The beautiful part of this journey is that though there is terrible darkness and evil in the situations facing the girls Meghann is meeting, in each case there are people on the ground rescuing them, rehabilitating them, and providing them with a future.
From Delhi our intrepid travelers made their way to Kathmandu, Nepal, where they met with a group we have been buying from for a short while, as well as a number of new groups we have not seen before. The poverty in Nepal and the need for help to come to that place and the people doing great work there weighed especially on Meghann and Ally while they were there. There is no shortage of need in this world, or amazing projects to support!
The last leg of the journey involved travelling back into India to the city of Kolkata. Kolkata is home to one of the biggest red light districts in the world, and also home to a ton of freedom businesses and people attempting to bring hope and a future. Meghann arrived there yesterday, and has a slew of meetings with different groups in the next few days to hear stories, see new products, encourage those working there, and be inspired for our continuing work in fair trade and anti-trafficking.
We are super excited to bring new products and new stories to you, and also heartbroken at the pain and darkness and evil that human beings are capable of. We are all broken and in need of saving in our own way. It is easy to be overwhelmed by the needs in the world, but we need to turn that into inspiration to do what we can to make a difference. When Meghann returns we will have some stories to tell, and some suggestions for you as well for ways you can participate in brining change.
For now, we ask you pray for Meghann and Ally as they finish their trip, for Dane and the boys as they have smelly bachelor time, for those who’ve helped to make this happen, and especially for the women in Albania, India, and Nepal who face terrible difficulties and are in need of hope.