After Taylor’s first year of business school, she traveled to Addis Ababa from her native Canada, where she met Ethiopian entrepreneur Salem Kassahun. Living in a society where the odds are generally stacked against women in business, Salem has paved her way to fulfill her dream of handcrafting exquisite, traditional Ethiopian rings and other products, bringing to life her own social enterprise company Salem’s Designs which has been serving delighted customers for many years.

Taylor was taken aback not only by the beauty of Salem’s handmade products when she first encountered them, but also by her commitment to ending the cycle of poverty.

Salem continues to fight the poverty cycle by quadrupling the average Ethiopian wage, empowering her employees financially. Socially, Salem’s family has launched a mentorship program, taken 150 children off the streets, and started the Ethiopian chapter of the international organization YoungLife.

Salem told Taylor the story of a young girl named Kiddist. Her single-father was an employee of Salem’s, and despite Salem’s best efforts to guide Kiddist’s father, Kiddist was not receiving the life she deserved and was unlikely to make it past the 6th grade. But Salem saw her curiosity when she read books in the shop and wanted to give Kiddist the chance to seize her days.

She sponsored her schooling starting at the age of 6, and now at 18: she is the top of her class, she is top 4 in all of Addis Ababa and she is attending university on a full ride scholarship. Kiddist’s brilliance would have never been realized had it not been for Salem’s belief in her potential.

The goal of the 7dayringproject is to allow more girls like Kiddist to realize their potential, and to help them seize the day. Taylor had noticed the7dayring in Salem’s shop and asked her about it.

Salem explained that the ring and its seven bands (one for each day of the week), is a reminder for us to make the most of each day, to live life fully and intentionally. For Taylor, this powerful reminder planted an idea that would create real change in the lives of girls in Ethiopia

HOPE International Development Agency is a Canadian based non profit with a mission to help the world’s poorest families become self-sufficient. HOPE International believes, just as they do at the7dayringproject, that education plays a crucial role in helping to end the cycle of poverty This shared belief has led them to partner with HOPE International specifically to help fund skills-training and microcredit loans for women in Ethiopia.

For 2018, all proceeds will be going directly towards micro-loans and skills training programs in Ethiopia, further empowering women here. By purchasing a handmade ring, you are making a pledge to live each day fully and you are directly making a difference for women across Ethiopia. To learn more:

https://www.facebook.com/SalemsEthiopia/

hello@the7dayringproject.com

http://www.the7dayringproject.com/#the7daystory

https://hope-international.com/