Encouragement From Chrissy Duke, Beauty for Ashes President

This year has been so incredibly exciting for Beauty for Ashes.  In order to begin our work in Morocco, we have launched two projects in two different cities!

In Fes this past January, Lauren Spiewak, our Founder, opened our crisis center for at risk girls and has started research projects on the issue of human trafficking in Morocco.  In Casablanca, Charlotte Kimmel and I have put in motion education and awareness initiatives with at-risk groups, civil services, and with the general public.  In both cities we are doing outreach in the community, specifically working with at-risk girls in government placement centers.  I also have been given the honor of the role of President for BFA.

Many of you may not know me so let me take the opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Chrissy Duke and I am the new president of Beauty For Ashes. I have lived in Casablanca, Morocco for 7 years with my family.  I genuinely look forward to what is ahead in the future of Beauty For Ashes.  Our vision to prevent human trafficking and restore victims in North Africa to the beauty and dignity intended to all humanity is not only possible, but it is already beginning to happen.  This past year has been a whirlwind of activity to bring justice, freedom, and restoration – and it has only just begun.

We at BFA want to spread the hope of human rights across North Africa by starting in the strategic country of Morocco.  Morocco is unique in its location to fight human trafficking.  It stands as one of the 5 main trade routes from all of Africa into Europe and the rest of the world.  With the country being the closest in proximity to Europe, it has become a place of mass transit for traffickers.  It doesn’t just lie in transit though. Morocco is also a source and destination for trafficking.  This country is also unique in that in 2016 it passed a law prohibiting human trafficking, which is one of the first of its kind in countries across North Africa (within whom the rest of the trade routes exist) and so it gives us a unique opportunity to set a precedent for freedom.  There are currently no other non-profits focusing on anti-human trafficking in this region.

We seek to prevent human trafficking by beginning with awareness and education.  The conversation of what is considered slavery must be heard and changed, and so we are working in schools, universities, civil services, and with the general public to help develop an understanding of the issue of human trafficking and how we all have a role to play in the fight against it. There are no expendable characters.  We also opened a crisis center in Fes this past January for girls whom the government has determined at-risk to human trafficking.  The girls are placed in our center and receive housing, vocational training, counseling, and transitional assistance into society.

Our hope for the future is to create jobs for at-risk people through socially responsible businesses.  We also hope to increase human trafficking prevention and rescue by aiding in training for lawyers, policy makers, and law-enforcement on how to implement the recently passed law in Morocco.

The need can seem overwhelming, and it cannot be met by one means – it must be fought on all fronts, from the government, civil services, religious institutions, and the general public.  We all have a role to play.

In order to impact this world and bring freedom to the captives, we need you to invest your gifts, your talents, your money, and your hearts for the people who live in darkness.

We’d love for you to stay up-to-date on the work of Beauty For Ashes in Morocco. Please follow us on

If you’d like to give financially to the work of Beauty For Ashes, you can do so online via this link:

 

Please consider being a part of this  incredible movement on behalf of all humanity, and participate in a global effort to bring beauty from the ashes.


Handbag

New Partnership with Mushmina

Here it is... drum roll please 🥁... Our newest partnership is with Mushmina!! We couldn’t be more excited about this business!

They are just incredible- their business is driven by the economic empowerment of local female artisans in Morocco! 🇲🇦

We love their timeless fashion and incredible passion. They are donating necklaces handmade by their artisan to BFA, where 💯% of the proceeds will go to BFA. We will have these available on our website soon.

Not only that, but they are donating 10% of their proceeds from online purchases you make on their site to Beauty for Ashes!

This business is truly on 🔥 their pieces are drop dead gorgeous!

Go check them out for yourselves: www.mushmina.com


Volunteers Are the Best!

I want to take a moment to say thank you to two amazing people:  Russell and Stacey. These two have come to Morocco for the past 7 months from Texas to volunteer their time with Beauty For Ashes.  How incredibly generous is that?

Stacey and Russell immediately became dear friends to us and to our community.  They are easy to like, fun to be around, and hard workers. You can’t get much better than that!  We have been so blessed by their efforts to help our grass-roots organization find our footing and build a strong foundation.  They have quickly become integral to the BFA team, and we are so sad their time is coming to an end.

Stacey and Russell both coordinated, organized and ran activities in the girl’s detention centers.  They worked everyday of the summer camp we held in Fes. They have helped us navigate the chaos of understanding grants and filing the endless stream of documents.  They have dreamt and brainstormed big goals and visions with us, and they have given wise counsel when needed. They didn’t stop there, they have tirelessly helped on every little request we send their way, and even volunteered their time with other groups here doing amazing work in the community, such as a surf camp Kai Shapes does every summer with a local orphanage.  They are always willing to give, never complaining, and up for any adventure.

They have embraced Morocco in all its crazy cultural differences, and immersed themselves in the people and culture of our town.  They have taken the good and the bad all in stride, and trusted there was a purpose behind it all. They have patiently pursued direction on what the next steps are for them all the while wishing they could stay, but being willing to go if led.  

There are not enough words to thank them for their time, their gifts, their energy, and their passion that they have given to Beauty For Ashes.  We are blessed to have had them, and we are sad to see them go. But, we send them off with blessings and knowing wherever they land that place and those people will be given a most unexpected, wonderful gift.  

So, we say thank you to two of the most generous people!  And we know this is only see you later, because no matter where they end up next, they remain committed to staying connected and helping as we continue in our work here in Morocco.

Cheers to two people who have become some of our closest friends, and are some of the best volunteers we could ask for!

Blessings on your next adventure!


PROTECT

Protect. Part of our mission at Beauty For Ashes is to protect the vulnerable. This need for protection is met in many ways:

1. Safe housing
2. Counseling
3. Continued education
4. Job acquisition
5. Empowerment education
6. Safe Community
7. Trafficking education
8. Mentorship

There are even more to the list that come through our staff on a daily basis to ensure these girls protection. It is not just a goal to us but the importance is woven into the fabric of every decision we make.

Young girls who have fallen outside of the protective influence of their families are the most vulnerable targets for traffickers.

Beauty for Ashes seeks to teach these girls and provide for them so that they can continue their education and learn skills for gainful, productive employment.


Overwhelmed by the Human Trafficking Epidemic?

Are you overwhelmed by the scope of the human trafficking epidemic around the world? We are too.

👉🏻 Here are some things we’ve learned when it all gets to be too much.

#1 One thing at a time. The Starfish principle: there may be a million stranded starfish but when you throw one back in the ocean, it makes a difference to that one

#2 This is going to take everyone. So no matter your involvement whether big or small, it matters.

#3 Someone else is not more qualified to do this fight than you! We are all uniquely gifted and whether you have time, talent, money, or wisdom to offer, it is all important. You matter!

#4 Breathe. Give yourself a day to relax, be free. Experience freedom at its best so we remember why it is we are fighting. Freedom matters, enjoy it.

#5 Believe it’s worth it. Human beings are worth the fight and wading through the overwhelming statistics to reach that next one. Fighting when it isn’t easy is when it matters most.


Announcing Resin

We are so EXCITED to announce we are going to be selling socially conscious products and all proceeds go to BFA!

The first collaborative product (there is more to come 😉😍) is with @kai_moroccowhose local artist Hicham @art.fromdust uses recycled surf board resin to hand shape and design the most stunning jewelry!⚡️

By purchasing one of these items you will not only be supporting a local Moroccan artist, a Moroccan surf business, and helping the environment, but you will also be supporting the work of Beauty For Ashes!!! Whaaat?!? The impact that just one necklace can make is so exciting!!


Spreading Awareness

Being aware makes all the difference. If you know more about human trafficking then we will no longer be able to say slavery was something that happened years ago.
We can all have a role to end slavery. If you know more, there will be no more.

Victims of trafficking are often re-trafficked even after being rescued. This is why prevention is so important. “Where re-trafficking occurs, it is not uncommon for it to be to a different destination or for a different purpose of exploitation on each occasion” (International Organization of Migration). According to the UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, 30% of human trafficking victims are children.

What can you do to get involved? Spread awareness! Do you have a group of friends or family or people who meet together? Maybe a youth group, camp, retreat, community group, or organization? Invite a BFA staff member to come and speak about human trafficking this summer or fall! Or even simpler, share you newfound knowledge on your favorite social media platforms!


Grooming for Human Trafficking?

Have you heard the term Grooming for human trafficking?

It’s not like going to the Spa for a self-care day. It is a process used by the perpetrator to achieve complete control over someone’s identity and sexual boundaries by force, fraud or coercion.

Most victims don’t realize they are being groomed, until they are already under the perpetrator’s control.

Why does this matter? Prevention is the key to stop human trafficking. If we can identify when people are being groomed, we can stop the control before it begins, we can prevent the trauma, we can keep people Free.


Hope

Hope. It is why we are doing all that we can, because we have hope that these girls can have a secure future. That their hardships and struggles can be traded for Beauty. That each one of them is worth it

Your involvement in this ministry not only gives at-risk girls in Morocco a safe place to live but this opens the door for them to dream about a ✨bright future, a future the never expected to exist. Now, they can dream, they can hope again.

Hope is a powerful thing, and you don’t realize it until it’s not safe to hope anymore. We are so grateful for those who partner with us providing hope again to girls who have had it stripped away for so long.