People drive the mission of Elevate. We are constantly amazed by the people that are brought into our path. We truly interact with some of the greatest people who walk the planet earth today. Yesterday, I watched a video that was very sarcastically making fun of millennials. I watched and almost started crying because the list of faces starting flashing through my mind. In a generation where people are so focused on the negative, I (typically being a glass half empty person) saw the goodness in my people. The hands on, endless hours of work it has taken to bring this organization where it is really is a HUGE result of Millennials “shopping with purpose,” tagging product and wanting their life to be their answer to so many global injustices (Rant, over). We not only work with incredible people on this side of the globe, but simply phenomenal people on the other as well. Through this beauty training initiative, we met eight more incredible women who gathered with eagerness to learn something new. We went to Bangladesh with hopes of creating opportunity for them and we came home with new friends. We hope you enjoy the images and stories of the Beauty to Bangladesh initiative.
Opportunities empower people. It really is that simple and so much more complex all at the same time. Each one of us are where we are because of a series of opportunities that we seized. We may not have succeeded at all of them, but the combination of opportunities themselves led us down a path that brings us to this very moment in time.
The beautician training lit up a room where women were gathered to gain a new skill to better their lives with a new business of their own. Each woman who came was engaged with our lovely trainer, Anuja. She truly empowered them to expand their understanding of these skills and to think about beauty from the inside and outside of a person. Notepads were out and their hands were busy jotting down their thoughts and notes from her instruction.
Coming from a village, our new friend Jodi giggled the entire way through her first pedicure. I sat back amazed with her bright red sari and makeup-less face and just got lost in my mind wondering what her day to day life looked like. She was by far the most entertaining of the bunch practicing these skills.
I observed and admired their modesty as Reka would run to lock the door if their legs were showing to make sure the fellas at the leadership training wouldn’t enter. Sigh…to see such modesty in our nation would be a bit refreshing.
From the bridal up-dos to the facial messages, these ladies were in the “zone” learning and practicing skills that will carry their new businesses.
The training was structured into a seven day time period. They would gather to practice in the mornings and the trainer and myself would arrive late morning. Anuja, our trainer would continue down a list of many skills and teach them step-by-step how to do each skill. They would do note taking and even more practicing as Anuja would give advice and help each woman individually until they were really getting the hang of it. We put in a full day with tea and biscuit breaks of course and in the evenings sister Anuja and myself would head out and the other trainer would stay with them to help them practice all the skills they learned that day.
I loved witnessing the empowerment that was happening. We encouraged them to work hard and to use their new business as a platform to bring joy and hope to the community they would be working in.
At the end of the training two women successfully graduated and six more are right behind them as they needed a bit more practice before being given their business start-up materials. We are thankful to have been able to provide the resources for this training and all of the capital needed for each woman who graduates to be able to start her business.
Thank you for Creating Opportunity with us by partnering financially, buying our leather products and sharing our story!
(And they got the biggest kick out of practicing “bridal dressing” on me. They had to run and grab my husband so he could take a look )