Combat Flip Flops — Enlist in the Unarmed Forces


Many of us talk a lot about the eternal wars we seem to be involved in and that we want peace. Well, a peacenik friend send information about a company who is Paying It Forward. I did some research to see if it was authentic and it really is. Gift giving season is coming and this would be a way to put a check mark next to a name on your list and make a real difference.

 

I plan to join the unarmed forces and I hope that many of you will also join around the world. I am excited to share this company with you and that it will among other things help girls in Afghanistan get education.

Namaste

Barbara

 

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THE MISSION

To create peaceful, forward-thinking opportunities for self-determined entrepreneurs affected by conflict. Our willingness to take bold risks, community connection, and distinct designs communicate, “Business, Not Bullets”–flipping the view on how wars are won. Through persistence, respect, and creativity, we empower the mindful consumer to manufacture peace through trade.

 

As Army Rangers with several Afghanistan tours behind them, Griff and Lee saw a country filled with hard-working, creative people who wanted jobs, not handouts.

Flip flops were just the start. We’ve taken a product that people in nearly every country on the planet wear, and made it a weapon for change. Right now, all our flip flops are made in Bogota, Colombia, providing jobs and investing in people who desperately need it. We’ve done that with all the products we sell.

Our USA made Claymore Bag’s flip the script, on traditional weapons of war. Instead of carrying bombs, these bags act as a carry-all for business tools like iPad’s, laptops and more.

Our Cover and Concealment sarongs are handmade in Afghanistan by local women. Each one takes three days to make, and each sale puts an Afghan girl into secondary school for a week.

The Peacemaker Bangle and Coinwrap are sent to us straight from artisans in Laos – and they’re made from bombs. Each bracelet sold clears 3 square meters of Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) from a region rocked by long-term war – saving lives and providing economic opportunity.

UNAPOLOGETICALLY, WE MAKE COOL STUFF IN DANGEROUS PLACES.

We do this because it’s our job to show others what’s possible, then encourage them to join us.


WELCOME TO THE UNARMED FORCES.

 

Their most popular product is their original, the AK47 flipflop:

 

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They also make fabric scarves, called shemaghs, made in Kabul, Afghanistan.  The sale of each shemagh puts one Afghan girl into secondary school for 1 day.  According to their website, 103 girls have been enrolled in school for the full year since Janaruy 2016.

These are the shemaghs available (more are on the website combatflipflops.com)

cff_white_500_large green_whole_shemagh_500_large

 

 

What she needs is an education. We can help give her one.

What she needs is an education. We can help give her one.

 

 

This week, in honor of back to school, charitable donations are increased by 2x

 

The charity supported is:  Aid Afghanistan for Education (AAE)

“When we educate a woman, we educate a family. Unless we educate the Afghan population, there will be no peace.”

~Hassina Sherjan, Executive Director, Aid Afghanistan for Education.

Devastation, war, and violence in Afghanistan created a regressive, fundamentalist education system that prevented modern education for children, and denied opportunities for women to work and fend for their families. We believe education is the only vehicle to a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan. Every Afghan has the right to be educated, create opportunity, and add value to their country’s future.

Since 2003, AAE has established 13 schools in 9 provinces that educate marginalized Afghans deprived of an education during the years of conflict in the region—or do not have access to a formal education system. Currently, 3,000 female and 104 male students are attending AAE schools.

The War On Women is Starting Earlier Now


The War on Women is being brought to us earlier and partly to produce more soldiers. The earlier girls are married off and impregnated, the sooner the next generation of soldiers will be ready to die for tyranny, oppression and Jihad. Shining the light, donating, writing letters to world leaders and world organizations is the only way to help girls and women.

Getting them an education will also help. Jihadists have proven that they fear women with an education.It may seem as if I am beating an old drum, but really I am not. These lives are worth our effort. The future will show us how right we are. Shine many lights, talk, write, donate and keep the pressure on for all the women and girls in the world. We can win. We won’t stop trying.

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Brought to you by: UK Department for International Development

on May 25, 2016

Married at 3, divorced at 7: Two Ethiopian girls tell their stories

Jessica Lea / DFID

“I was really young on my wedding day. And I didn’t know we’d have sex that night. I thought my husband would wait for me to grow up, that he would wait for the right time.” ~ Selenat ~

For girls like Selenat, who got married when she was 13, child marriage marks the beginning of frequent and unprotected sex which often leads to an early and risky first pregnancy.

“At first we just slept. But the groomsmen kept on bugging my husband until he had to wake me up. That’s when it all happened. I didn’t really know what was going on because I was very small.

“The groomsmen and the entire family were so excited that I was a virgin that my pain, my screaming — that was the whole point of the marriage.” ~ Selenat ~

Sel.jpegImage: Jessica Lea / DFID

In the last decade 58 million girls in developing countries — that’s 1 in 3 — have been married before they were 18.

Amhara.jpegImage: Jessica Lea / DFID

Ethiopia has one of the highest rates of early marriage in sub-Saharan Africa. In the Amhara region — where Selenat lives — the average age is 14.7 years.

Meet Bayush. She got married when she was 3.

bayushDFID.jpgImage: Jessica Lea / DFID

Bayush lives about an hour’s drive from Selenat’s village. She explains that girls need to stay in education “no matter what”. And she’s right. Research suggests that education may be the single most important factor in reducing early and forced marriage.

“I was very young when I got married. I don’t remember much. I remember people coming around with cattle and saying they were mine. But I didn’t really know what was going on.” ~ Bayush ~

bayyyy.jpegImage: Jessica Lea / DFID

Bayush continued to live with her mum and dad after the wedding and her husband and new family visited for events. She was due to move in with her husband when she was about 8 or 9-years-old, but at the age of 7, Bayush asked to go to school.

It was this request that led to the end of her marriage. Bayush’s father refused to send her to school but her brother intervened — he offered to pay the school fees if Bayush could stay in the family home. Eventually, Bayush’s father agreed. Bayush’s relationship with her husband ended.

“Now my dad supports me, he’s on my side. He says that he would have ruined my life if he’d insisted I stay married.” ~ Bayush ~

Bayush also received support from the UK aid funded Finote Hiwot (which means “pathway to life”) programme.

“Finote Hiwot has helped me to stay in school with exercise books and pens and the different materials I need to complete my education.” ~Bayush~

Books.jpegImage: Jessica Lea / DFID

The programme — which is helping at least 37,500 adolescent girls, and indirectly many more — also runs community discussions about early marriage in Bayush’s village. These conversations ultimately bring behavioural change which provides the tipping point to end the practice.

Bayush often goes to the meetings and felt empowered to speak to her uncle, who was going to marry off her cousin.

“I told my uncle what I’ve learnt through Finote Hiwot. I explained how he’d become a better person if he sent his daughter to school. I also told him that his daughter is brilliant and he decided not to marry her off. I feel so proud of what I’ve done.

“Today I dream about completing my education and becoming a doctor to help people. I feel I have a responsibility to do that.” ~ Bayush ~

Bayy.jpegImage: Jessica Lea / Department for International Development


This story was originally published on Medium by the UK Department for International Development. Click here to find out more about how the Department for International Development is taking action to address early and forced marriage in a range of countries including Bangladesh, Nepal, Zambia, Uganda and Ethiopia.


 

New Ways to Learn


Today I want to share another TED Talk with you, by the author John Green, who discusses how learning is a way to map the world, and how the Internet — and in particular YouTube — has provided a new kind of learning experience for anyone who chooses to engage.

 

I hope you like it — and that you’ll choose to engage in learning new things.

Namaste,

Barbara

 

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Why Does She Stay?


I worked for years in Domestic Violence, and I have heard many, many stories of abuse.  I think that educating people about Domestic Violence, and that there IS help and that people DO care about their safety, and the safety of their children is the most important thing we can do to stop the violence.  There is away out, and people around you will help find it.
I have heard this story in many variations from hundreds of women.  There is nothing like hearing a victim’s story, and that she safely got out, to give a victim of abuse the courage to begin breaking their own silence and to begin planning their own way out.

 

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Modern Slavery or Human Trafficking


reality of slavery

reality of slavery

 

The reality is that in 21 centuries of recorded history, slavery has been alive and well. It is still destroying families and lives. After gun running and drugs, it is the biggest money maker for those whose hearts are as hard and cold as stone.

 

Who finds themselves in slavery? It can happen to anyone. Following the rules doesn’t matter. You can just be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Slavery or trafficking usually ends the same way…in torture, fear, disease, death. It is the worst thing a human being can do to another human being. This is one of those events on the underbelly of life that we need to allow ourselves to see and to know and then to nurture ourselves after we have seen it. Knowing about slavery and turning away is the same as committing the act. When a child, a woman or a man is bought, if you know you have to do what you can to stop it.

 

The horrific statistics

The horrific statistics

 

Trafficking has a supply side, and it is made up of victims. Most efforts go into maintaining this lucrative supply side. We need to look at victims and realize they are the victims and not criminals. Don’t judge the victims. It is easy to stand and look at someone and say, “I wouldn’t let that happen to me.” Victims felt the same way. If you ever suspect someone is being held in a form of slavery, call the victimization hotline at 888-3737-888. You can also refer someone to social services.

 

Twenty seven million slaves in the world in 2013.

Twenty seven million slaves in the world in 2013.

 

Why is there a demand for human slaves? There are millions of consumers for slaves to perform sex acts or provide labor. The labor no one else wants to do. If you or someone you know has ever forced someone into sex acts or coerced labor, you must stop now. What you are doing is a crime not a living. If you pay for sex with adults or children, stop it now. Stop going to adult book stores now. Stop using your money for voyeuristic shows, phone sex or any type of pornography. Make an effort to do some homework and find out which businesses use slaves and/or children.

 

Support local businesses or local artists, buy from fair trade businesses. If demand drops, it will save the lives of people who haven”t been kidnapped or duped into slavery.

 

A quote

A quote

 

You can use social media to get the word out about slavery. Facebook, MySpace or twitter would be a good place to start. You could also volunteer your services to agencies who directly offer services or money. You can care, and let it matter in your life. Education is very important. Children without an education or a very limited one will be more easily tricked into slavery. As caring human beings, we must oppose all forms of violence against women and children. Do not trivialize the horror and don’t leave it for someone else to take care of. There are millions of souls who are being bought and sold. They are hopeless and helpless. We have to care. They were made by the same Divinity that is within us and it is within them.

 

There is slavery in the twenty first century. We must stop it. We must decrease the demand.

There is slavery in the twenty first century. We must stop it. We must decrease the demand.

 

If you meet someone who is at-risk, help them to get off of the streets. Hire workers and pay them equitably. Even if you just suspect a person might be a victim, call 1-888-3737-888. You may be able to save a life. Social unrest leads to many people and families becoming refugees and often then find themselves in slavery. Because women are considered inferior or second class in almost every country, this leaves them vulnerable to being bought and used. In many countries where the poverty is so severe, children, both women and boys are sold for money to keep the rest of the family alive with food or medications. So, please don’t turn away because this is scary and disgusting and evil. If you know anyone who is at-risk, refer them for assistance. Call the hotline number. Don’t see them as damaged victims. See them as what they really are…children of the Universe.

 

 

 

 

 

I Believe I Need to Clarify


There is just one America Filled with Many Different Peoples

I would like to clarify my previous post as I think some people may have misinterpreted it. What I am talking about is not politics. I am not talking Democrats and Republicans. We are a democracy and we have free speech. Every Republican has the right to express themselves as much as I do.  All I am trying to do is to start an open, honest dialog with all people, of all kinds of beliefs and backgrounds, so that we can learn to understand the differences between us, and — more importantly — recognize that what is different is not inherently bad or evil.  It’s just different, and that is what makes our country so great.

I was speaking about the big picture here in our beloved country. I wasn’t even simply talking about racism, although, racism is a deep-rooted problem. There is racism in all countries, I am sure. But some countries look at blacks and whites with more equality. I do not feel if we asked black people here or in another country if racism is easing quickly, they would agree. In fact, I know they don’t feel that way, at least among those I know. It isn’t just our feelings about black people alone. Minorities of all kinds suffer from discrimination. How often has it taken laws to protect the rights of minorities?  Asians, Hispanics, Puerto Ricans, Haitians, South Africans, indigenous people of all countries, including the USA. After the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1947, we locked Japanese people up in camps even the ones born here in America.

The picture is even bigger than this. We don’t love our neighbors as we love ourselves, if they look different, speak different, have a different religion or religious path. Can peace begin in neighborhoods, cities, let alone countries, if we aren’t practicing it within ourselves and our families? What about hating people who love differently or believe in a different God, or a different facet of the same God? I do believe it has a lot to do with education. If your family raises you to believe that others of a different religion are wrong and will not go to heaven, you probably will believe this when you are an adult. If you are brought up to believe that women are inferior, very often you will treat women as being inferior — even if you are the woman.

To me, the map just gave me this huge picture of the source of our hatred (as in hate crimes) and violence (as in violent crimes). They need to go down. They need to end. Can they end when acceptance and inclusion are moving forward so slowly? I worry that we aren’t making much progress. Bigoted people come in all shapes and sizes and religious persuasions and, yes, political beliefs.

I am sorry if I didn’t explain myself well. I simply wanted to begin a dialog about what people here can do to show more love and inclusiveness to those who are different. I am sending this blog out surrounded with white light and love and a sincere apology to anyone who didn’t understand my whole concept. Yes, the maps triggered my thinking about the problems here in America, but I was not confining them to racism, nor to politics. I meant it to be an example of the fact that we haven’t changed, in the last 150 years, as much as we may believe we have.

What Women Want


This is a subject that has inspired books and movies. It is now a huge part of our 2012 Presidential election. Now, be assured that not all women want more rights. Some are happy and content being “owned” by the significant male in their life. But for those of us who are strong. capable and passionate, we want change. We don’t want to go back to the nineteenth century and we want to move forward.

Women want to be legally equal in 2013. We are the only citizens of the United States of America who are not equal legally. We want the government and men out of our bodies. We are capable of making choices that effect our reproduction and our health.

We want people to understand that rape is not legitimate. It has nothing to do with sex. It is completely about power and control. I cite the cases of eighty-five year old women and one year old babies being raped.

We want stronger laws protecting women and men from Domestic Violence. I worked in Domestic Violence in two states for over 25 years. A women does not have to live in fear. No one has the right to verbally abuse you. No one has the right to hit, slap, punch, kick, break your jaw, threaten your life or the lives of your children. There are shelters and helplines in almost every town and in every state. Call your local police for telephone numbers to receive shelter, food, counseling, legal assistance, moral support and caring attention.
At the shelter I helped to start we had a slogan, “You can’t beat a Woman.”

We want equal pay for equal work. Women who are doing the same job as a man are currently earning $.77 for every dollar a man earns. In the 1970’s, it was $.64 for every dollar a man earned. Yes, it is an improvement but a pathetic one.

Women want the world to know that women’s work counts. If a woman chooses to stay at home with her children she is just as worthy as a woman who goes out of the home to work. And if we go out to work, our work is as meaningful as a man’s work.

Women do not want to be viewed as second class citizens. We don’t want how we look, what size we wear, or how much plastic surgery we’ve had to matter more than our character, morals and intelligence.

We want the women in every country of the world to be free from honor killings, being sold into sexual slavery, from genital mutilation. We want every child, boy or girl in the world to be able to learn to read and write and to receive the medical care they require.

We want American insurance companies not to put caps on the health costs of human beings. We want every man, women, and child to receive the medical care and medication they need, even if they aren’t in the 1%. We want insurance companies to be forced not to tell doctors what medications they can prescribe and what treatments they can order.

We want the bullying that children are suffering at the hands of classmates to end. We want schools to be free of violence and hatred. Every time a child commits suicide due to bullying, we as a society, have failed them. Our hands are also bloody.

We want people to be able to love whomever they love. Love comes from the soul and souls don’t have gender. Souls just love and that love is no less beautiful than any other.

Please feel free to add things that I have not mentioned. I am happy to have your feedback. We need to create a better life for all women on this planet. If you don’t know much about feminism and would like more information, I suggest reading, Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique, Gloria Steinem. Revolution from Within, Robin Morgan, The Burning Times. I also suggest Lenore Walker and Alice Walker, Marge Piercy and Toni Morrison.

Alice Walker, author and feminist