Why I (a male) #WearHerStory

Never did I imagine that I, a male, would play an important role in an ethical jewelry company and work weekly with over 20 Cambodian women...

What I did know is that I would stay true to my convictions to take a stand in the battle against human trafficking, and that’s what led me here in Cambodia to live and fight alongside the vulnerable. 

 Director Karla and Zach stand with the new Landmine Design Artisans in Cambodia in January 2018

Director Karla and Zach stand with the new Landmine Design Artisans in Cambodia in January 2018

I share a unique perspective in working face-to-face with Landmine Design artisans in hopes that you’ll see just how much your choice to purchase ethical jewelry matters. Every piece of Landmine Design jewelry sold impacts a multitude of lives. Lives beyond the women employed.

Chahng Thout, a new Landmine Design employee, shared with me how she earned a living before she was offered safe employment with Landmine Design. Chahng was desperate for an income to sustain her family’s daily needs, and had no option but to to travel by foot, two hours EVERY DAY to cross the border into Thailand - without a passport - to work a 13 hour a day in a field under the hot sun, cutting sugar cane for only four dollars a day.

Listening to Chahng Thout I was reminded not only of the terrible working conditions but also how dangerous it is for women who have no other choice but to walk illegally across a border, alone. Where at any point, she could be taken.

Not only did these dangerous working conditions affect Chahng Thout. They directly affected her one-year-old baby, who she had no other choice but to carry with her as she worked far from home. Before getting a job with Landmine Design Chahng would hold a sickle to cut sugar cane in one hand, and in the other, her baby. She did this 13 hours a day, 6 days a week. One her rest day, she still wouldn’t have enough money to eat. 

 A rising generation of Cambodians eager to to dream of education and freedom. 

A rising generation of Cambodians eager to to dream of education and freedom. 

 Chahng had no choice. But you do.

Because of people like you, who have decided to #WearHerStory women like Chahng Thout are able to stay at home, take care of their family, and earn a much better income. “Wearing Her Story” affects more than just one woman - it affects her family. Chahng’s baby and her five other children will now have the opportunity to go to school as they’re no longer without a mother at home each day. Your choice to #WearHerStory is breaking the cycle of a poverty of education in this village.

I urge you, woman or a man, to take a stand to protect lives and END IT. Not just for one woman, but for entire families, and for the restoration of a new generation rising from poverty.

Written By: Zach Tillapaugh

 
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