Loaded question, right? Absolutely. However, the answer is false! While the American Civil War ended the scourge of slavery in the United States, it still thrives around the world, driven by profit with a careless disregard for human dignity. In fact, there are an estimated 27 million humans being held in slavery around the world; many of them being children that have been forced into prostitution.
Shocked? So were we.
Fortunately, Beza Threads does something about it. This group of tireless people all volunteer their time to ensure these kids are able to escape and gain the necessary skills to support themselves, and we were lucky enough to have the privilege of helping them in their extraordinary work.
A while ago we launched a multi-faceted project for Beza Threads. The work included a rebrand of the organization, new website, collateral and product packaging. We want to break it down so you can get a glimpse into our creative process. Let’s get to it.
Beza Threads is a non-profit organization based in Des Moines that works to free child slaves in Ethiopia. A slave costs $90 there, and enslaved young girls, as young as 14, are sold for as little as $0.05 per sexual encounter. Police and governments turn their heads to pretend the problem doesn’t exist. Never has human dignity been destroyed for such a pittance.
When Beza Threads came to us they wanted a way to tell their powerful story. Children are taken and forced into a life of pain and manipulated for the wants of others with disregard for their needs and wishes. However, this isn’t the story. The story isn’t about being enslaved, it’s about hope, redemption, courage and freedom.
Working hand-in-hand with Hope for Children in Ethiopia (HCE), Beza Threads helps give these kids a place to stay, enrolls them in school and teaches them a trade so they are able to be self-sufficient. Here’s a sampling of the skills they teach freed slaves:
- How to repurpose the textile skills they mastered in slavery by creating a business model that’ll help generate personal income for a sustainable future.
- Seamstress and embroidery skills that makes them capable of earning a good-paying job.
- Professional culinary and cosmetology training, which ends with an internship and job placement.
With these skills mastered, some of the children have begun to make scarves. Taking seven hours to create, each scarf is made up of intricate details and amazing craftsmanship. Check out this video to see the process it takes to manufacture one.
To pay for their organization, Beza Threads buys these scarves from the children, sells them for a profit in the U.S. and uses 100% of the proceeds to pay for the program. In fact, 100% of all proceeds and contributions they receive go towards the work of freeing children. There are no administrative costs or salaries since everyone donates their time. Very cool.
Beza Threads wanted an easy way to portray this on their website. Since a critical part of what they do is the distribution of funds received from the sale of the scarves, we wanted to create a straightforward way to show everyone exactly how every dollar from each scarf is spent. We did that with a simple infographic.
We also wanted to provide them a way to visually display each scarf. We were able to create an online store that allows shoppers to easily browse through the various products Beza Threads sells. On the back end, they are quickly able to upload new products and manage orders as they come in allowing them to get the orders out in a timely fashion.
With the organization being fully-comprised of volunteers, they also needed a blog that was easy to update, but also made an impact. Featuring posts about Beza Threads’ visits to Ethiopia and stories highlighting different children that have been helped, we helped them create a place to share their experiences and to show who they’re helping.
Beza Threads believes hope is coming for children trapped in slavery. We do too! We’ve seen how a single thread can change lives forever, and we’re glad we had this small opportunity to help them with their amazing work. You can also be part of their remarkable story by purchasing a scarf today.