Beginning Conversations with Iraqi Women Refugees in Springfield, MA

October 30, 2010

Written by Sara Jackson, Prosperity Candle PR Intern

In September, I joined Prosperity Candle as the Public Relations and Media intern. My name is Sara Jackson and I am a senior at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA. I am currently working on my senior project which is analyzing United States media coverage of the Iraq conflict since 2003 and am thrilled to be a part of the Prosperity Candle team and working with women in Baghdad.

When attempting to understand the situation in Iraq there is always a degree of separation between this conflicted nation and me. Despite technologies like Skype and two-day shipping by Fed-Ex, which place me in quick contact, it is halfway around the world and therefore hard to understand the devastation and rebuilding efforts in Iraq. Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting three ambitious women from Baghdad who not only brought a real sense of Iraq with them and shared that with me but also an idea of the opportunity Prosperity Candle offers women just like Manal, Hind and Ibtesam. Their ambition to make the most of their new lives in Springfield, MA was obvious from the moment I met them and so was their strength.

As we watched the video of Wafa’a, who works in Baghdad with Prosperity Candle, discussing how her life had changed after starting up her candle business, I noticed Manal began to cry. I couldn’t know, and I won’t try to guess why this was, but for a moment the issue of separation I had been feeling about Iraq and the women who work in the country with Prosperity Candle felt non-existent. There is no separation, I realized – just strong, resilient women who want to rebuild their lives.

I have had the privilege of being surrounded by strong women; women who don’t take no for an answer when it comes to their dreams and goals, or the dreams and goals of their children. Sitting with these women who had spent time in Syria, Egypt and Lebanon after leaving Iraq, it was apparent to me that they too are feisty women. They too will need opportunity in order to make the most of their resilience.

As the Springfield initiative to work with refugees begins, I wish all of the women who participate the best. It’s a great idea to have Iraqi women who are beginning new lives in Springfield, MA to be a part of the Prosperity Candle team. They have currently resettled here in the Pioneer Valley with the support of local nonprofit organizations, which Prosperity Candle is partnering with to launch the Springfield, MA program. The women who participate will have the opportunity to become candle entrepreneurs and launch their own businesses. At the heart of Prosperity Candle is the global connection; linking women to women half way around the world. I’m so happy that women like Manal, Hind and Ibtesam will be providing more links to the global Prosperity Candle endeavor.

~ Sara

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Prosperity Candle Blog

Prosperity Candle Artisan Spotlight: Meet Sai Aye - handpouring soy candles in Massachusetts
Artisan Spotlight: Meet Sai Aye

August 11, 2018 2 Comments

Sai Aye joined Prosperity Candle as a candle-maker in 2015, after relocating to the U.S. from a refugee camp along the Burmese-Thai border. Over the years we've had the pleasure of getting to know Sai as a skillful candle-maker and joyful person. She's happily offered to share a glimpse into her life!
Read More
7 Artisan-Made Products that Empower Survivors of Human Trafficking - Prosperity Candle Blog
7 Artisan-Made Products that Empower Survivors of Human Trafficking

July 27, 2018

Monday, July 30th is World Day Against Trafficking in Persons - a cause that is dear to our hearts. One way you can help victims of human trafficking is by purchasing products made by survivors. We love these handmade products because they celebrate each artisan's skills and creativity.
Read More
What's the eco impact of a candle? - Prosperity Candle's blog
What’s the eco impact of a candle?

July 14, 2018

We are always on a quest to improve quality and reduce our carbon footprint for the well-being of the environment, our customers, and the women artisans pouring each candle.  Here's a look at our ingredients and environmental impact.

Read More
like what you see?
Fragrance Guide

Unique soy blend fair trade candles handcrafted by women artisans candles at Prosperity Candle

Amber & Bergamot

Warm and inviting, amber and bergamot combined with subtle notes of
geranium, black cardamom, sandalwood and eucalyptus.

Cedar & Cardamom

Cedar infused with cardamom, lily and spice with seductive
notes of sandalwood, leather and musk.

Chamomile & Sage

Deeply restful chamomile and fresh sage combine in this soothing herbal,
creating an atmosphere of calm and well-being.

Grapefruit & White Floral

Wonderfully complex, grapefruit blended with lily, peony, geranium
and rose, with base notes of amber and musk.

Jasmine & Cypress

Crisp notes of jasmine and cypress blended with nectarine, black currant,
pink peppercorn and bergamot for a uniquely alluring scent.

Orange Blossom

Fragrant orange blossoms mingle with water lily, iris and clementine leaves above
a base note of vetiver to create this delightfully elegant floral.

Pacific Ocean

Clean and buoyant, fresh ocean air atop a joyful blend of freesia,
water lilies, lotus and tuberose for a truly uplifting experience.

Sandalwood & Oakmoss

The warmth of sandalwood blended with Baltic oakmoss, a touch of amber,
and hint of patchouli give rise to this gentle wood scent.

Seasonal Holiday Scents

Blue Fir & Spice - Fragrant blue fir pine needles combined with cedarwood, bright citrus and a touch of spice evoke the spirit of the holidays.

Chai Tea - Warm and uplifting, green tea mixed with peppermint leaves, spices and hints of lemon and amber remind you of the best coffeehouse chai.


Completely fragrance-free.
Perfect for centerpieces, dinner candles and those who prefer no scent.

Looking for a past favorite?

We probably have it! If you don't see the one you're
looking for, send us an email and we'll custom pour it for you.
Save Save
Inspire Your Inbox!
Liquid error: Could not find asset snippets/modify_lightbox_snippet.liquid