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Empowering the survivor within us all – the Made By Survivors Story

We are at a pivotal point in history…women are standing up and marching in their numbers all over the world. While many may see it as strictly political, I view it as a step in the right direction to truly becoming our sister’s keepers. It is so very important to represent those who have no voice…to effect change at a core level…real, material change.

At Symbols Jewellery, we are extremely proud to feature gorgeous, hand-crafted pieces from the Made By Survivors Programme. Founded by Sarah Symons, this training programme allows survivors, who have been rescued from sexual trafficking, slavery and other human rights violations in India, to learn the art of jewellery making. With the skills and training they acquire, they are able to earn a reasonable income, which allows them to truly break the cycle of abuse and exploitation. Through gainful employment, made possible by this programme, survivors are empowered to break the barriers within their families and society, those self-same barriers that fuelled their vulnerabilities and exploited them. Survivors bear societal stigmas…many are disowned by their families due to shame. However, through financial independence, they are liberated from this stigma…they are able to completely break the binds. Many survivors rescue members of their own families, physically removing them from harmful situations, by offering to share their umbrella of safety.

The Made By Survivors Programme creates an avenue for the education of survivors who have been rescued after the age of 16, since they are oftentimes unable to follow the traditional academic path, as many of them have never had a formal education or even ventured inside a school. Without a formal education, the risk of these girls being trafficked again is very high and many are forced to return to abusive situations, since they have no other option for survival. One of the major strengths of the Made By Survivors Programme is that it addresses this issue directly and through the high wages earned, survivors are empowered to become independent and embrace a free life forever.

Many of the jewellery pieces within the Made By Survivors collection eloquently speak to empowerment. These include "Inner Strength" and "Resilience" themed jewellery that all represent the struggles many of these survivors have faced. The “Inner Strength” Necklace was inspired by the flowering vines that grow around the Made By Survivors jewellery studio in Northern India. The survivors describe themselves as “vines” which grow back even stronger when cut. They see themselves as becoming stronger from the things they have endured and the joy they feel from overcoming these obstacles. By wearing this necklace, you are grounded in a connection, not only to the energy of the amazing survivor who crafted the piece, but you are also able to draw inner strength and confidence from within yourself to overcome your own personal challenges in life.

We, at Symbols Jewellery, would like to celebrate these amazing survivors as well as the survivor within all of us. We are pleased to offer 15% off the entire range of the Made By Survivors Collection from now until February 15th. Enter Coupon Code: MBS15 when making your online purchase. Find a piece that truly speaks from your heart, a piece that you can wear confidently and proudly in support of a great cause. Find the perfect piece to encapsulate your wonderful virtues or those of a cherished friend or loved one…give a beautiful gift with meaning, something that will be treasured every single time it is worn by the amazing woman to whom it was bestowed. As always, with each purchase, you receive a story card keepsake describing the symbolic meaning behind the piece, elegantly packaged in a jute jewellery pouch, complete with an anti-tarnish strip and care instructions.

For more details on the programme, please visit the Made By Survivors website. Check out Sarah Symons' TedX Talk and learn more about the life-changing and transformational work that is being done through the Made By Survivors Programmes. Let us support the drive to be our sister’s keeper. To end with the enlightening words of Sarah Symons - “Let’s all live heroically, let’s all step into our light”.

Shop today for jewellery with meaning...where our mission is to help you speak from the heart.

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