Applauding the Spirit of Women for Women International Graduates in Iraq!

We just recently shared our 2010 progress to date with our partner, Women for Women International, about our work in Iraq during our first year. After a lot of hard work together last year, it was nice to look at the results and reflect on what these numbers mean to the women that we have worked with. For many women, the income from Prosperity Candle had meant that they have been able to repair their homes, begin planning for a more independent future and saving for long-hoped-for trips.

Women for Women International program graduates in Iraq pour Prosperity Candles - soon to be a meaningful gift that shares the light and empowers women

Luma & Wafa'a carefully working on their Prosperity Pillar Candles

Luma, Abeer, Nazahat and Wafa’a. Zainab, Awatif, Majeeda and Raheema. These are the names of just a handful of the 44 Women for Women International program graduates that we have worked with in Iraq. They have been trained in candle-making, launched their businesses in the safety of their homes and made beautiful candles that now illuminate the homes of people throughout the United States (and beyond!). We have been inspired and awed by their perseverance and determination. The candle-making journey has not always been easy, but they have worked hard to bring you their beautiful work.

Prosperity Pillar Candles made by Women for Women International graduates cooling - soon to be meaningful gifts that give back and empower women

Prosperity Pillar Candles cooling - soon to be packaged as your next meaningful gift!

Here are some of the highlights of our first year:

  • 44 Iraqi women were trained in candle-making & set up with candle-making kits to make candles in their homes
  • The women created over 7,000 high quality pillar candles in just a few months
  • In our first year, 52% of the women earned above a minimum wage for their work & 17% earned above an average wage
  • 1 woman earned the equivalent of 3.5 times the minimum wage in Iraq, after producing nearly 250 candles in just 2 weeks
  • Several women have begun designing their own candles and selling them in Baghdad to the U.S. Embassy and to neighbors

We are very thankful to Women for Women International for all of the support they have given us. With their help, we have been able to offer an often neglected group of women a rare opportunity to create businesses that can help them to thrive and connect with global markets. We help them earn more income but, perhaps more importantly, we also share their voices and connect them to a global circle of women.

Women for Women International program graduates in Iraq who have started candle making businesses that create gifts that give back and empower women

Women for Women International program graduates are now Prosperity Entrepreneurs! From L-R: Nazahat, Luma, Wafa'a, Ibtesam and Abeer

We look forward to sharing more success stories as we continue to grow our work with Women for Women International and the women in Iraq!

Prosperity Pillar Candle from Iraq made by Women for Women International graduates - a beautiful meaningful gift

Prosperity Pillar Candles from Iraq ready to be shipped to U.S. customers

To purchase a Prosperity Candle made by Women for Women International graduates in Iraq, click here.

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