she has a dimple and a radiant smile, full of straight white perfect teeth. she laughs and giggles as I turn my camera around & show her the image I just captured of her. she’s a doll a think to myself. i’ll name her ally. she’s 8. she’s brought her younger friend to visit & play at the co-op. let’s call her little friend Mackenzie. she looks only 5 but she insists she’s 6. so we’ll gift her the benefit of the doubt.
just like my girls when they were little. giggling with each other, holding hands. sharing secrets.
ally is innocent. she’s precious & just simply delightful.
a victim of rape.
her mama walked into her friend’s home. but this particular day, that friend was raping innocent, precious and only six years old, ally. the brave mama, let’s call her susan, was able to rescue her baby girl & get to the community leaders….who then reported the crime to Rwanda’s local branch of International Justice Mission.
everyday violence devours little girls in this country. sexual violence against little girls (or gender based violence) kills more girls than war, cancer & accidents combined. what? violence is an epidemic. it’s crucial to understand the poor fear violence every single day. and sweet baby girls like ally, they are almost always assaulted by someone they know. a teacher. a family member. a neighbor.
“the end of poverty requires an end to violence” the locust effect.
a few months ago, susan joined 10 other women as a seamstresses for noonday collection in Rwanda. she smiled all day today. I didn’t know her story until I climbed into the bus, much less the horrific story of smiling, giggling, beautiful with a dimple, ally.
these pieces you guys purchase through noonday? YOU are supporting susan as she rises out of poverty. you support her as she comes to work today. she’s empowered. she has hope for the future. sweet ally has hope for her future. do you grasp that?
you’re sitting in your comfy chair & you wonder…what can i do? i barely can manage my home. i don’t stay on top of the laundry and a home cooked meal seems like a monumental task.
what can i do? I’m skeptical about things like this. i don’t understand why a little girl is raped in a country on the other side of the world.
what can i do? i’m not a sales person. the thought of asking my friends…and worse a stranger, to host a party for me. i could never.
let me tell you something. i was sitting in a comfy white chair, in my comfy home, in my comfy world and i read about becoming an ambassador for noonday. i don’t make grocery lists for crying out loud. who am i to think i can make a difference in someone like Susan’s life? i don’t even watch the news. why is there horrific nauseating violence against baby girls? i don’t want to bug my friends and inconvenience them with a sales thingy.
the awesome thing about all of us together is this—-
IJM in Rwanda employees brilliant, amazing, brave Rwandans who will fight for justice for ally. they did. the rapist was convicted.
noonday creates jobs for the vulnerable. this jobs provide a living wage for susan.
susan is talented in sewing and comes to work everyday. she creates a marketplace for you.
we can use our purchasing power for good and purchase Susan’s handiwork.
you can use your voice and become a noonday collection ambassador.
you can open your home for a noonday ambassador & host a show.
WE all are linking arms together.
empowerment changes lives. if you ever wondered does if your little can do anything big? oh yes my friends, your little is doing big things, big things indeed.
i saw it BIG today in the smile of a little girl, with a dimple ……and her brave joyful mama.
(remember, you may follow the entire trip here. )
due to the nature of the internet & out of respect for the people here, I will be turning off comments for the remainder of the trip. we have very little wifi time & it’s hard to get back to each of you with each of your questions. john…you’re the man.