Create to Emancipate--A Jewelry Designer Who is Changing the World One Bead at a TimeĀ®

by Seven Mutluluk for Cross Cultural Connections

Learn how one jewelry-artist is making a difference and bringing awareness of human trafficking through jewelry-making.

Her story...

I have been an avid jewelry-maker since 2006. My passion for beading began while living overseas and walking through street bazaars filled with beautiful gemstones, such as lapis and amethyst. This was also when I learned of the gruesome realities of human trafficking and became determined to do something about it.

I helped found and volunteer full-time for Cross Cultural Connections, an organization that works to provide resources and economic sustainability for women living in ''safe houses,'' rescued out of sex slavery and brothels overseas. We are successfully supporting safe houses in Cambodia, Thailand, India and Nepal. Additionally, Cross Cultural Connections supports various other projects throughout Africa and the Middle East by teaching jewelry-making and selling the jewelry.

Through Cross Cultural Connections, I am able to support this important cause by designing and selling my own line of jewelry, Sevgi Jewelry, (with the profits going directly to support the rescued women) and teaching jewelry-making to empower others. I travel overseas to the ''safe houses'' and teach the women to make jewelry. Cross Cultural Connections provides wages to the women who make jewelry and then markets and sells their jewelry online at www.crossculturalconnections.org. Jewelry sales and the wages provided help promote self-sustainability.

In the United States, we attend and sell jewelry at awareness events and host jewelry-making parties where we provide information and teach others to create jewelry for this cause. We are happy to note that most all of the jewelry-making supplies are from Fire Mountain Gems and Beads!

Our dream is to continue to grow and help rescue and bring freedom to the women being held in abusive captivity.

Here are some photos of the jewelry-making classes we offer women overseas:

Created in an undisclosed location that allows women to escape prostitution, these necklaces offer new hope to women from the former Soviet Bloc. Trafficked here and sold into prostitution, they are finally finding a way out. Each necklace is handmade around a table where the women can reach out to each other and offer hope and comfort. Each necklace featured above is created out of a medley of glass beads, stone chips and bugle beads.

Learn how you can support and get involved in this project at: www.crossculturalconnections.org.




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