India-inspired food & drink/ The Pineapple-Jalapeño Granita

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Our recent Summer 2014 PUNJAMMIES™ photoshoot was a bright, colorful affair and to toast to its success, we bring you this spicy little number to serve up at your next PUNJAMMIES™ party, or pretty much any kind of event where you want to blow people’s minds [and taste buds].

Since our work is based in India, we wanted something fruity, but also spicy in honor of the nation’s love for all things H-O-T. It can be served after dinner in place of a sorbet, or fashioned into a cocktail with a splash of good tequila, etc

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And so, we bring you,  the ever spicy/sweet Pineapple & Jalapeño Granita from the talented team over at Oh My Veggies [who also happens to have TONS of terrific fresh, vegan & vegetarian recipes btw]. Their  recipe can be found here

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Cheers to F R E E D O M !!!!

 

 

Behind the Scenes: Summer 2014 Photoshoot

We are overly thrilled to give you a behind the scenes look at our Summer 2014 photoshoot!  It was such a blast being able to bring our team together and spend the day styling our beautiful PUNJAMMIES™ while remembering the wonderful women in our sewing centers that have created them. As you may have guessed, with our summer photoshoot comes new summer designs. Can you spot them?

One of our new styles is a bright green patterned PUNJAMMIE™ which comes in three lengths! Like all of our PUNJAMMIES™, this one is named after one of the women in our sewing centers. This particular style is named after a strong and inspirational woman by the name of Vijay.  Check out all the styles our Vijay PUNJAMMIES™ come in by clicking “shop” above!  Which style is your favorite? Let us know in the comment area below. :) We absolutely love hearing from you all!

We Are Now On Youtube! ♥

We are so excited to share with you our new Youtube Channel, PUNJAMMIES™!  We have been working very hard in the office to find more ways to connect with you all and thought that creating a Youtube Channel would be the perfect way. On our channel, you will be able to join us behind the scenes at our photoshoots, learn ways to style your PUNJAMMIES™, and learn super fun DIY activities using your PUNJAMMIES™ bags. Don’t forget to subscribe and share our videos with others.

Most of all, we want to thank you for helping us break the cycle of human trafficking through the purchase of PUNJAMMIES™!

Support International Princess™ Project with every Amazon purchase through Amazon Smile!

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Many of you have asked for ways you can support IPP in addition to purchasing PUNJAMMIES™. We are excited to tell you about one simple way – Amazon Smile!

 Each time you make an eligible purchase through Amazon, they will donate a percentage to IPP. It’s really, really simple — we promise! Here’s how:

 1. Click on THIS link to go to the Amazon Smile homepage

2. Type Indian Princess Project into the search box (note: this is the original name we incorporated under)

 3. Select IPP

 4. Done!

 Each time you want to make a purchase through Amazon, just remember to use smile.amazon.com. With every purchase you are supporting IPP and helping restore the lives of even more ladies and their children!

** For those of you who love extra credit assignments, after you select us as your preferred organization, you’ll also see prompts to share via social media which helps spread the word about IPP and gives your friends on facebook/twitter a chance to select us as well!

 Thank you for all the ways that you care about this cause and want to show your support! Every single bit of it counts.

Founder Shannon Keith >> Fact vs. Fiction behind the scenes at IPP

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At IPP, we value open dialogue. I wanted to take a moment to share some common misconceptions we encounter about our work in India and mission of creating pathways of freedom for women escaping  sex slavery.  The subject of sex slavery and human trafficking can be such a polarizing one that we often need to clarify for people who we are and how we operate. We welcome the dialogue and hope after reading this, if bolsters even more confidence and support for the work we are so passionately engaged in.

It’s important to me that I begin by clarifying that our company exists because I witnessed firsthand a problem that impacted my life in such a powerful way that I had to take action. After travelling to India and visiting one of its many red light districts, I had the opportunity to meet some of the women employed within the brothels. I heard story after story about modern day slavery and women – starting at young, tender, impressionable ages – being forced into the sex trafficking trade in India. I could not be a passive bystander – I had to do something to advocate for these women, which is why I founded International Princess™ Project. However, I also soon discovered that without a new occupation, these women who had entered the sex trade either as orphans picked up by pimps, or young mothers trying to care for their families, or sold into the sex trade by their families, would scarcely survive outside of the brothels. We created PUNJAMMIES™ as a product that would provide empowerment and employment for these women, generating an alternate source of income that would allow them to care for themselves and their children. What began with just 6 women has grown to more than 150! That’s 150 people no longer forced into the sex trafficking trade and who, instead, spend their days in a clean, healthy, nurturing and loving sewing facility surrounded by a community of women who care for each other.


 

blog 2Are all the ladies working in IPP sewing centers of legal age?

Absolutely. India has child labor laws similar to those in the US – individuals in most cases must be 16 years old to work. Over 95% of the women working sewing PUNJAMMIES™ are well over 18 years old, with the remaining few being over 16 years old and of legal working age.

“The opportunities I had for a future were so limited before I came to know about the work that IPP is doing with Harvest India. Now I am living with dignity, and there are so many opportunities ahead of me. I’m so thankful to be a part of this family.” – Sabita

 

How do you define sex trafficking and sex slavery?

 When we talk about sex trafficking and sex slavery we are talking about commercial sex acts that are induced through force, fraud, and/or coercion. The ladies in the sewing centers have been through great trauma in their life. They entered the brothels through one of three ways: they were trafficked, born into it and then coerced, or impoverished and forced to repay never-ending debts.

Do you see yourself as rescuers?

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 The women who enter our sewing centers do so as an autonomous choice. They are deciding their own path and take pride in their independence.. They are rising above the crimes done against them and working diligently towards a better life. These women show great courage for both themselves and their families.Our role is to provide opportunities to partner with and empower each woman, but not to rescue.

 

Since my time with IPP I have received so much love, peace and joy. This opportunity is helping me to stand on my own feet and teaching me to trust others again. I have hope for the first time in years.”- Dalaj

 

How do you find women who have been freed from the sex trade?

We partner with indigenous organizations that have a long-standing presence within the red-light areas of India.  IPP does not conduct raids.  Laxmi, is an example of how women (and their children) come into an IPP sewing center. Laxmi married very young and was sold by her husband to a brothel owner in Kamathipura.  She was beaten and, like many of the ladies who are in the sewing centers, felt like there was no way out. She knew that if she escaped home to her family she would be told she was not welcome because she had brought shame on herself and her family. She later gave birth to a little boy and was determined not to let him grow up in the red light district. Health concerns led her and her son to attend a clinic where she heard about International Princess™ Project’s sewing centers. IPP’s partners were then able to help them escape to one of the sewing centers at Ashagram, where she works today.

 


 

To say I am inspired by the courage of these women is an understatement. With every new story I encounter of women looking for a way out the sex trade they feel trapped in, my passion grows for finding sustainable, safe jobs for them to transition into. We thank you for your continued support. Should you have any questions about our work or what we do, please email us at info@intlprincess.org

 

With love, Shannon

Founder, International Princess™ Project