today is the day: JOYN india

I’ve been alternating between tears and giddiness all morning as I think about today.

Today is the day our Light The World team has been working towards for the past month.

As you know, in November I traveled to India with a group of photographers to partner with JOYN India to tell their story.

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Turns out their stories are incredible, and keeping them to myself for the past month hasn’t been the easiest task. Have you ever tried keeping pure joy contained? If so, you get what I’m saying.

These stories are not flickering candles in a dark room, struggling to stay lit. No, they are bursting, blinding rays of sunlight pouring in through the cracks in the walls. So strong, powerful and bright that the darkness can no longer sustain and the light overcomes, consuming everything in its path. 

That is the joy I’ve been experiencing while having the privilege of writing these stories the past month. And now… today… it’s time. It’s time for you to know, not as in head knowledge but in heart knowledge, that joy is real. That restoration and healing and redemption does happen, is happening, all over the world. It’s time for you to meet the faces behind the wonderful products that JOYN India produces. It’s time for you to join in. 

Founded in 2010 by Dave and Melody Murray, JOYN and their sister company Dehradun Guitar Co., collectively work with over 120 artisans from India, Nepal and Tibet. The artisans are fathers and mothers who long to provide their children with education that leads to a promising future. They are teenagers who have chosen to learn a skill and work for a living instead of begging on the streets. Every single artisan has a story of perseverance through incredibly difficult hardship, and without the investment of JOYN and DGC in their lives they would have little to no opportunity to earn a decent living.

What these two organizations are doing is so holistic, so multi-faceted. It is more than just job creation. JOYN and DGC care for their artisans on every level of the human existence– from providing jobs so they can eat well and support their families, to creating a micro-loan program that gives their artisans even more opportunity, to teaching values of excellence, integrity and humility.

the JOYN family
the JOYN family

I had the privilege of seeing first-hand the transformation taking place in people’s lives because of the work of JOYN and DGC. It would mean the world to me if you would spend some time reading their stories over at our website. They truly are incredible. Make sure to check back regularly- we’ll be updating with more stories over the next few weeks!

In addition, it would mean so much if you would consider giving financially. JOYN is growing quickly, and the only thing slowing them down is lack of space. They are desperately in need of new (and more) buildings so they can house their workshop, education and training facilities and transitional housing all in one place. Last monsoon season, JOYN lost 40% of its inventory due to rain damage. With new buildings, they can not only secure inventory, but can provide more jobs and restore more lives. 

JOYN needs your help to raise $100,000, so they can complete the new buildings before the next monsoon season in June. 

If JOYN India’s mission resonates with you, would you consider joining me in supporting them? You can give directly from our website. 

AND here’s a bonus: The first 200 people who give at least $50 will receive an exclusive Light The World tote bag, hand-woven, block-printed and stitched by those joyful faces you’ll see on our website. Isn’t it beautiful? The leather handle just does it for me.

photo by esther havens
photo by esther havens

I’m so excited to finally get to share these artisans’ stories with you. I hope they touch your heart as they’ve touched mine.

P.S. If you’re still searching for Christmas gifts, JOYN has some great options for the women in your life. You can find their products online here and here.

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