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    Life of the Party

    Others—Trade for Hope brings women in Canada and around the world together. March 8, 2018 by Captain Laura Van Schaick
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    (Above) Pennie Young and Trish Patey display some of the products they purchased at an Others—Trade for Hope party in Prince Albert, Sask. (Photo: Cpt Laura Van Schaick)

    We’ve heard it before: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” It’s what women want: to be the change, to do something that makes a difference in the lives of other women in our community or on the other side of the world.

    That’s why The Salvation Army’s Others—Trade for Hope program is gaining such support across the territory. An international initiative that supports individuals—primarily women—who are struggling to provide for themselves or their families, Others manufactures and sells an array of products, from scarves and jewelry to dish towels and aprons. The Salvation Army teaches women a craft and pays them fair wages to create handicrafts that are then sold internationally. These products make real change possible, helping women support their families and escape the cycle of poverty.

    The Salvation Army in Prince Albert, Sask., recently hosted an Others—Trade for Hope party. Nearly 100 women attended, viewing handicrafts and hearing the stories of the women—from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Kenya and Moldova—who made them. Women such as Mina, who was rescued after 18 years of being trafficked as a sex worker, and now helps other women still working in the brothel to find training and work with the Others program.

    Trish Patey was one of the women in attendance at the party. Patey works with marginalized women in northern Saskatchewan, so the goal of making a difference in the lives of women internationally struck a chord with her.

    “I have worked with women who have been marginalized in some capacity for many years,” she says. “When I see programs like Others, I am reminded that there is good in the world. There are people who are willing to take time to teach these new skills so women are able to support themselves and their families with dignity, and this gives me hope. The products are beautiful and well crafted. I was delighted to purchase some and to spread the word about the Others—Trade for Hope program.”

    Because of the popularity of home parties, an Others party may draw in women who are not normally involved in Salvation Army ministry. In Prince Albert, the women were eager to participate and support this program.

    Patey shares, “I see God working through the Others program to spread his love and message to those in our city who may not normally be exposed to topics such as social justice. It’s the little things that make a difference, and I believe the Others program has opened our eyes to the challenges women face in other parts of the world. Every little bit helps.”

    Pennie Young was also happy to learn about the Others program. “I have done some cross-stitching and know how long it takes to make such fine products,” she says. “I was amazed at how much work went into these precious items.”

    Attending the Others party also caused Young to reflect upon her own situation in life. “It made me look at myself and all that I have, how much God has given me,” she says. “I see God making people in countries like Canada more aware of how privileged we are. We have the capacity to reach out and help those less privileged.”

    Patey agrees. “God has been working through The Salvation Army in Prince Albert to reach women in the community. It is wonderful to also enlighten them of the many good things that The Salvation Army is doing around the world.”

    Others—Trade for Hope is an initiative of the women’s ministries department. For more information or to hold a party in your area, contact others@can.salvationarmy.org.

    Captain Laura Van Schaick is the corps officer at The Salvation Army, A Community Church in Prince Albert, Sask.

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