Monday, March 28, 2016

Love Stories from {The Root Collective}

I'm not particularly romantic or sentimental, so I think Valentine's Day is kinda meh. The gifts part, though? That I like. 

But I do love a good love story. Like, just a notch above a supermarket romance novel but not quite as fancy as something written by the Brontë sisters. For me watching love unfold on a page is much, much more meaningful than watching a romantic comedy. There's just something honest but mysterious about having to imagine what the characters look or sound like. Sometimes I imagine myself or people I know in different roles in the book. I think it's more personal that way.

My favorite kinds of love stories lately? Ones about mothers and fathers in faraway places doing hard and brave things to better themselves and their families. That's a real love story with real life characters.

Here's one such story. Meet Alma. 
From childhood, Alma was taught that she had no value. Her parents made it clear that she wasn't wanted. By the age of 9, she frequented the streets in Guatemala. By 12, she was going to clubs and began doing drugs. She was pregnant for the first time by the age of 13, though her child died in the womb after a violent beating from her boyfriend. Alma went on to have five children throughout her life, fathered by men who also didn't value her or her children. She was able to attend school through the sixth grade, but the subpar public school system left her unable to find sufficient work to support her children. She ended up joining a gang and thieved to feed her children. Her husband is now in jail. Alma started with the jewelry program with the microfinance portion of Lemonade Internation and has been able to turn her life around. She had the opportunity to change her circumstances and she took it, not just for herself, but to be an example for her children. Her dream is to see her children grow up without need of anything.

Love story. The best.  

And another. Meet Pauline.
A young woman from Kenya, Pauline's story is one of determination. When she was only 16 and in the 6th grade, Pauline learned she was pregnant. She found herself needing to provide not only for herself and her new son, but – since her father had passed – also for her mother and 6 siblings. It was then that she came to the Neema Project in the hopes of learning a trade skill. She not only excelled in the skills she learned, but became a teacher in her own right. She taught the other students beadworking and how to fix and repair their errors. Pauline, now a graduate of the Neema Project, is working to support her family. She is ever hopeful of her future and the opportunities her employment will have for her son.  

Two true love stories with real, relatable characters. And there are so many more. You can read more like them here

The Root Collective partners with artisans trying to make a life for themselves and their children. It is not a charity. The artisans are equipped and trained to use their skills to make and sell their products and succeed in their business. The entire process, from the artisans to the good people at The Root Collective to the consumers who purchase their goods, is a circle of love. It's the best possible type of love story, where no one is rescued from their circumstance by a handsome prince but instead by their own hard work and ingenuity.

Looking for a meaningful or sentimental Valentine's Day gift for you or someone you love? Enter LOVESTORY at checkout for 15% off that my friends at The Root Collective created just for my readers. You can use my affiliate link to shop:  

I'll take these, in a 7.5.

Write your own love story this Valentine's Day by supporting someone else's.  

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