(UPDATED September 6, 2023) In July & August, 2023, OUR SEEDS FUNDRAISER was to raise $10,000 in partnership with Shining Light International. We did it … together!! $10,003 was generously given to to launch a 1-year sewing center and vocational skills training course in northern Pakistan for 25 women from diverse backgrounds with the aim of emPOWERING them with skills to earn an income and build life-giving community connections.
WHY this MATTERS
This project led by Shining Light International (SLI) will ensure that more Pakistani women receive a skill that will change their lives and the lives of their families, impacting generations to come. Not only will their economic opportunities increase, but attendees will also gain a knowledge of their own self-worth, foster deep connections with other women in the program, and grow in confidence as they become changemakers in their communities.
Every woman trained will have a significant and multiplying impact as new income and empowerment will allow her entire household and children greater opportunity for the future.
Research shows that when women are educated through either primary school or vocational training that 90% of their earned income goes back to their families – impacting their entire livelihood. -SLI
Pakistan is known as one of the most oppressive countries towards women and according to a poll by the Thomas Reuters Foundation, Pakistan is the “third most dangerous country for women in the world.” SLI believes that by working with communities to develop education opportunities, either through traditional academic education or vocational training, that transformative change will happen in northern Pakistan.
SLI works towards this goal is by partnering with communities to offer vocational training and employment opportunities to women through their Women’s Empowerment Program (WEP). This program includes: the Women’s Vocational Training Center (WVTC), the LifeStitch Manufacturing Center, and the LifeStitch Retail Sales Outlet.
WATCH – Videos to give you a “taste” of Shining Light
(Ohhhh, loves – these folks are jaw-dropping in their compassionate ACTivism. Pause and take this in …)
Rural Village Sewing Center Video: Anila’s inspiring journey and experience in SLI’s Women’s Vocational Training Center in Pakistan. I love this story! (In a time when there is SO MUCH THAT IS HARD and “BAD NEWS” IN OUR NEWS FEEDS, take 6 minutes … and get ready to learn and perhaps, be IGNITED in your own beautyFULL and brave story!)
Seeds Storyteller Series with SLI founders. In this episode of The Seeds Storyteller Series, I have the joy and honor to talk with Robin and Mike, founders of SLI about this heart-warming and globally-impactFULL project.
7 INSPIRING & INFORMATIVE clips from the Seeds Storyteller Series with SLI founders.
About Shining Light:
Shining Light International (SLI) is a non-profit organization working in northern Pakistan. Established in 2007, they create opportunities that empower entire communities and break the cycle of injustice and poverty, aiming to serve and support those we work with by providing education, vocational training, and community development. Website | Instagram | Facebook | Contact
WORDS from our friends at SLI:
What are 3 words/phrases that give you hope when days are tough? “Steadfast, Miracles, Lasting Impact.”
What inspires you? (In the world, in life?) “Be a part of work that will outlast ourselves.”
What is 1 thing you’d like to TEACH/INFORM participants during this fundraising campaign? “Investing in women is strategic and has the greatest return on your money. It impacts generations – as women invest 90% of their income back into their children and families.”
What is 1 act – big or small – you’d like to encourage folks to do, in addition to giving $? “Follow along with our stories of impact on Instagram and FB @shininglightinternational.”
Do you have a favorite quote or poem you’d like to share with folks?“There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.” Margaret J. Wheatley
Are there any resources – books, movies, websites, people you’d like to share/connect folks with? Read: I am Malala. Connect with us on our website and blog. Dig deeper with one of our trusted partners: Neema Development.
AWEsome gift ideas with SO MUCH LOVE
We are here for you with ample ideas for birthday gifts … ANYthing you want to do to celebrate special people in your life! How about matching your special-occasion gift-giving (or for those in your life who don’t want another “thing”) and donate in honor of them to our Seeds fundraiser this month? Head here to donate and then use the below images to share the story of your donation to this Seeds fundraiser – or reach out to me and I can send you your digital card for your special someone.
JOIN US as an EVERYDAY PHILANTHROPIST
As part of our call to all to be an everyday philanthropist, each month I spotlight a project or program in the world. Our partner’s focus is in at least one of these five categories: human rights, education, health, community emergencies, and art-activism. I am blessed with a huge pool of changemakers in my community – so there is never a lack of trusted organizations with whom to partner.
This sort of “everyday philanthropy” is about an unrestrained generosity rooted in the reality of your everyday life. Generosity feels good. It is part of your purpose on the planet. It finds ways to share with others the treasure trove of whatever you have and whatever you love. It makes a difference with your small and large acts alike … living with a commitment and connection to your sisters and brothers near and far. Explore and discover your unique – right here and now – calling to be an everyday philanthropist today.
I get it: These stories and the very invitation to give and to BE philanthropists isn’t always comfortable. Or easy. Sometimes it’s the world’s pain pricking our hearts that wakes us up to see – and say yes! – to our destiny.
When you donate (THANK YOU!), we invite you to JOIN the Seeds Giving Fund as a monthly donor. It’s simple to set up once and your donation will be automatically directed towards our fundraisers throughout the year. Know that you are helping people each and every month. Consider stretching and giving as much as you can. If that’s $10 (=2 lattes a month!), that is plenty! *All donations are tax deductible.*
Over the past 10 years, we’ve partnered with people in more than a dozen countries around the world and raised over $200,000. We raise funds to support communities in need and people who are making a powerful difference. Our partner’s focus in each fundraiser is in at least one of these five categories: human rights, education, health, community emergencies, and art-activism.
So, today and together, let’s dispute the suggestion that philanthropy is an exclusive club only for those deemed wealthy. Today and together, let’s dispute that the only thing that matters and makes a difference is giving in “big” ways. The movement that will be unleashed when we live as generously unrestrained philanthropists WILL light up the world.
You are loved.
We belong to each other.
Let’s standTALL together and light up the world!
xo, -Sarah Davison-Tracy, Seeds of Exchange