House of Hope: Empowering Women in Nicaragua
Rachel Miles and Corey Perhac
This week, Omicron Delta Kappa worked with House of Hope: Empowering Women in Nicaragua, to raise money and awareness for women in Nicaragua attempting to escape a life of sex trafficking and prostitution. During lunch on Monday and Tuesday and dinner on Monday night, Omicron Delta Kappa set up a table outside of Colket’s Commons to sell jewelry that women hoping to escape a life of prostitution and sex trafficking had personally made. The jewerly included necklaces ($10), earrings, and bracelets (both $5). Each piece of jewelry sold was made from rolled up wrapping paper or wallpaper, and beads, this handmade jewerly doesnt sound like much but the jewelry these women produced was absolutley charming and quite elegant. For every $5 raised a women and her family could be fed for an entire week.
Following the House of Hope tables at lunch and dinner, Omicron Delta Kappa brought in Kelsey Kees to speak about the House of Hope program Tuesday, November 5th in Garret at the Colket Center. Kelsey Keys was a graduate of Virginia Tech and is currently an interior designer, but her true passion lies with House of Hope. Kelsey spoke about life in Nicaragua, which is the second poorest country in the world. Nicaragua has only recently ended its latest civil war, and they are now a democracy. They have never had a stable government, and they have also been victim to many natural disasters. The people of the country, therefore, are generally very poor and in need of the help that organizations like the House of Hope offer. Many women would have to prostitute themselves to provide for their families, including some families who had to prostitute their daughters who were as young as six. The House of Hope offers an alternative to these unfortunate conditions. They have created a safe place not only to live, but also in which to hand make jewelry, greeting cards and other things that can be sold in order to make money in a different way. House of Hope takes what the women make and sells them in multiple countries, and one hundred percent of the proceeds go to the women who made them.
House of Hope helps women get back on their feet, and their organization is quickly expanding; they graduated their first group of women from the program last year. To expand, they need help, and the main way to do this is by helping the women by purchasing their products. Between the jewelry events Monday and Tuesday and the House of Hope event with Kelsey Kees, around $400 was made to support these women in Nicaragua and hopefully provide many of them a way out of prostitution.
Products are also available http://houseofhopenicaragua.blogspot.com.