We can change our stars...

We can change our stars...

Posted by Bronwyn Newnham on

I have a memory from our travels through Bangladesh that haunts and shames me.

The shower in the house where we were staying was a camping bucket on a rope and I had been complaining about it all morning, wanting to wash my hair. 

A woman came to the door, she looked like a child of the dust. Lost and wearing a torn sari. The doctor came, and after talking to her he told me that she thought she was around 40 years old but didn't really know. She had been pregnant or breastfeeding all her married life and reported only having had only two periods. She only had two live children. She had a tubercular abscess in her knee. I looked around to see who had brought her to the house, but there was no one. She had walked by herself on that painful swollen knee to get help. My frustration with the makeshift shower vanished,  and I realised that I had everything that was needed and this woman had absolutely nothing.

There is a saying in Bangladesh; "Girl's are made for marriage" This five-word saying has vast implications for young girls in rural Bangladesh.

Troy Anderson, CEO of 'Speak Up' reports going to a rural Bengali village to talk to girls about the educational opportunities his organisation could offer, and asking the girls "What is your dream?" The girls looked blankly at him.  Girls in Bangladesh are not allowed to dream, their life is decided for them. 

The World Bank states keeping girls in the classroom for as long as possible is crucial in the fight to eradicate global poverty

Gender should not determine access to education, but it does.

In so many nations where there is poverty, conflict and poor governance, girls are not given opportunities to go to school. In our world, over 130 million girls are not in school. Giving girls quality high school education has been shown to double their life income. Girls with high school and university education have been proven to marry later, avoiding the awful health risks and maternal mortality that comes with early childbearing for women. Girls who have opportunities to go to school, high school and university have children later and have fewer children. This alone impacts our problematic increase in world population more than any other factor. 

Again, I am taught the real meaning of the word "difficult" :

This is Kakenya Ntaiya, she is my great hero. 


Fair Trade works with women in communities that experience social and economic challenges in order to give women back their hope and their self-confidence.

We have a beautiful range of jewellery from Finders and Makers in store and online. 


(Photo courtesy of Finders and Makers)

Finders and Makers was established by the amazing and wonderful Carina Tomietto. She wanted to build a company that helps women in challenged communities overcome entrenched views on the roles of women, and enable them to become successful entrepreneurs despite a lack of literacy, income or support.

All the jewellery in the Finders and Makers range reaches backwards to the women makers, bringing them an independent income, and more importantly, confidence, self respect and the right to dream.

So come in, and have a look at jewellery that is beautifully made by women, for women, each purchase helping another woman on our beautiful planet.  Let's go girls!


(Photo courtesy of Finders and Makers)

What an amazing gift to give a somewhere sister. 




1. "Educating girls: the key to tackling global poverty", The Guardian, Australia. 2017.

2. Missed Opportunities: The High Cost of not Educating Girls." The World Bank, 2018.

3. 'Our Centuries greatest Injustice' by Sheryl WuDunn 2010. TED.  talk

4. Why does Troy Anderson live in Bangladesh? - Podcast

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