Be the Change

I have been working with underprivileged women in Guatemala for nearly 10 years. In that time, I have had the opportunity to see firsthand what employment and education can do. It doesn’t just change their lives. It changes the lives of everyone around them. Employing women helps break the cycle of poverty.

Poverty is a vicious cycle. The disadvantages that are created by extreme poverty in turn create more poverty. Lack of funds leads to lack of education, which leads to lack of employment, leading back to lack of funds. Without the financial, cultural and intellectual capital needed to escape, individuals are likely to remain trapped in poverty for at several generations.

According to UNIFEM, 70 percent of those trapped in this heartbreaking cycle of poverty are women.*

Poverty Guatemala

This cause hits home for me because I grew up immersed in it. Guatemala is such a beautiful country, with the most beautiful people. Yet the cycle of chronic poverty continues. It is disheartening and overwhelming.

It can feel like it is impossible, like there is nothing that we can do. I am just one person. What difference can I make?

But it’s amazing what happens when a lot of people put in their grain of sand. Every small, individual action towards change is part of a greater collective movement with the potential to be great.

Maybe I can’t change the entire world. But I can take a small step, make a small gesture. And hope that there are others out there willing to do the same. All these small gestures create their own ripple effect.

Ask yourself: What can I do for a cause that is important to me? Can I spare $10? Even if I can’t, I can still share a link with someone who can.

The only way things can ever change is if we are willing to create that change, to be that change. 

Children Guatemala

Gemma Jade is driven by the desire to create that force of change. The women we work with are able to acquire the education and funds needed to break free of the cycle. More than just dreaming of a successful jewelry line, we dream of what this line will create: a company run by dozens of women whose lives have been transformed through the work they do. In turn, the lives of the families and community are also changed for the better.

* UNIFEM: Women, Poverty and Economics

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