The first part of March 2019, our Pearls with Purpose program traveled to the Dominican Republic to hold their first jewelry-making class. We have partnered with two schools in the Dominican Republic that teach young teens and mothers who have been rescued from human trafficking, and those who are also at high-risk. We are teaching them jewelry-making skills and techniques so that one day they can either work for another company, or they can start their own business. This skill is just the first part of the equation to help empower these young women to create their own long term self-reliance. They will also receive the business training classes that Mentors International has been providing for almost 30 years with great success. Then after graduation, these girls will have the opportunity to apply for micro-loans if they would like to start their own businesses.

We gifted these schools several jewelry making kits that included all of the tools they would need to get started learning and developing this new trade. These artisans in training first started learning with basic wire and polished rocks and are now working with a semi-precious stone called Larimar. As their skills and training increased, they were given sterling silver wire to intricately wrap the Larimar stones. Within a few days, they were so excited to show off their first finished pieces. There is only one mine of Larimar in the entire world, and it is located in the Dominican Republic.

By the end of the two-week training, the jewelry pieces created were beautiful. These women put their hearts into developing their new skills, but more importantly, they made a permanent impression on our hearts. We can’t wait to go back and teach more women and teens these intricate artisan skills.

You can have the opportunity to purchase jewelry from our Dominican artisans. Your purchase will help create beauty, dignity, and self-sufficiency in their lives. Learn more about our Pearls with Purpose program.

*Pictures used with permission of artisans.

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