America has always been a society of positive thinkers. This is one of the qualities which makes America great: our sunny, upbeat, "can-do!" national attitude has always drawn the dreamers, and drawn the dreaming out of each of us.
On the face of it, this is a great thing. This country's positive thinking has enabled millions of people, including myself, to create things which would not have been feasible anywhere else. As much as I love my native UK, where people tend to be a bit less blue-sky (maybe it's the weather), I am convinced this is what makes America unique!
But these days, there is a tendency in the midst all of this "positivity" to look away from anything disturbing. In our anti-depressant seeking times, nobody wants to wrestle with a downer, a bummer, a buzz-kill. Everybody wants to just have a nice day. This pattern may prove to be a challenge if you're one of the estimated 12 million people on Earth today who live in some form of slavery.
Yes, slavery. "Slavery" may seem like a word from another century, but it is still pervasive in many parts of the world. In fact, there are more slaves today than in any other period in history. Most slaves are female. Many are children. Much slavery around the world involves sexual slavery, almost always as an effect of poverty.
Slavery and trafficking of human beings are among the issues joinFITE, the women's empowerment initiative powered by Kiva and championed by Dermalogica, targets through empowering women with financial independence. Denying that these conditions exist doesn't help. Taking action does. Providing women with the tools and economic opportunities helps prevent potential trafficking situations that women may come across when seeking income to provide for themselves and their families.
We are honored to be joined by DNA Foundation, a dynamic activist organization formed by Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher which aims to spread awareness of and combat sex trafficking in the United States. Other celebrities who have shown their support of joinFITE include Charlize Theron, AnnaLynne McCord, Cindy Crawford, Jason Alexander, Emma Watson and Kelly Rutherford, who also add star-power to the cause through their high-profile participation.
Most recently, these celebrities have shown their support of joinFITE by lending their hand for a recent social media campaign that was launched in October called "Lend Your Hand." The participating celebrities photographed their hands and consumers have the opportunity to guess which celebrity the hands belong to on joinFITE.org or on joinFITE's Facebook page. Winners receive a unique code which they can redeem online at joinFITE.org and trigger a donation from Dermalogica to a woman entrepreneur from the region of the world and industry of their choosing. The more codes a consumer redeems, the more chances she or he has to enter to win fabulous prizes from various lifestyle brands who have decided to lend a hand in making this campaign possible. Some of the brands who have donated prizes include Foot Petals, Lifetime Television, and Jimmy Choo.
This is our way of lighting one candle, rather than curse the darkness. We are committed to the idea that by creating modest, accessible economic opportunities for women, individuals, families and entire communities will be able to stand, rise, and break free from poverty and the injustice which reinforces it, including slavery of all kinds.
For more information on joinFITE or the Lend Your Hand campaign, please visit joinFITE.org or take this quiz to activate a microloan for a deserving woman entrepreneur. Together, we can help put more women into their own businesses, one code at a time.