Jacki Zehner On Women, Money, and Changing the World  » Rising International: A New Model To Help Alleviate Poverty

May 22, 2012

Rising International: A New Model To Help Alleviate Poverty

Early this month I attended the Women’s Funding Network Conference in Los Angeles where I had the honor and pleasure of re-meeting Carmel Jud, the President and CEO of Rising International.  Carmel was one of many vendors at the Conference who was selling products created by women, in this case women from around the world.  Needless to say  I loaded up on goods.  There are many, many ways to use our economic power to support women and girls, and buying cool stuff in a direct way is one of my favorites!

This incredible organization is aiming to end poverty and empower women by promoting women-owned businesses both globally and locally. Rising purchases exquisite products from around the world made by some of the poorest women on the planet. Further they are  the first non-profit to use the home party business model to sell these amazing goods. You can host a Rising home party where “you might meet the people of Sudan, Afghanistan, Bolivia, India, or Cambodia for example, without even leaving your house. 

Through their exquisite crafts their stories come to life. The people come to life. You learn that although the people are poor, their lives are full; their cultures rich, and their skills complex, unique and difficult.” You can also become a Rising Representative and earn income while doing good.  It is truly an amazing model.  If that all seems way too complicated just shop at their online store and encourage others to do the same.

Imagine, just imagine, if we all decided to direct at least a portion of our purchasing towards businesses such as these.  Could we change the world? Yes we really could.

To inspire you, read this…..

“Sylverine, one of our Rising artisans from Rwanda,  survived the 1994 genocide by hiding in a hole for 3 months.  Now a Rising Artisan, she used her Rising income from selling baskets to buy a plot of land.

Susanna, one of our Rising Representatives in the U.S., lost her brother to a drive by shooting.  She used her Rising income from selling Sylverine’s baskets to help move her family into a safer neighborhood.”

To see Carmel Jud speaking at TEDxSantaCruz and how she was inspired to start Rising International, click here.

On a more personal note, Carmel, you truly inspire me! I know what you do is hard, really hard.  You created a new business model, the first of it’s kind, because of your desire to truly make a difference in the lives of women around the world you have never met.  You are an innovator, an amazing social entrepreneur, an extraordinary philanthropist, and one of my super SHEROS! Thank you.

PS

I am a real HOMA fan.  She is one cool doll.  I am honored to have had my photo taken with her and I of course bought one of her sister Nadera dolls for my daughter.  To me HOMA is a true symbol of women helping women so make sure you buy a similar doll for that special girl in your life and tell her the story behind it.

 

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