Tag Archives: women for women international


One Billion Rising V-Day

We sent an email that said women are not a possession. On Valentine’s Day.

It elicited more responses than usual, mostly “thank you.” But many also questioned our purpose.

Here it is.

“Women are not a possession” is from Tena Clark’s Break The Chain, the anthem for ONE BILLION RISING that has become a global campaign to end violence against women and girls. Founded by Eve Ensler, it is women and men gathering in over 200 countries to express outrage and solidarity – and to dance. It’s incredibly powerful.

When we started Prosperity Candle, supporting women in regions of conflict was our purpose. The founders had traveled around the world for decades helping people escape poverty through entrepreneurship. In the places we worked, this is what we observed:

Men have more access to resources. Women face more obstacles. Men often waste their money. Women typically invest theirs more wisely.

When we launched Prosperity Candle with our own limited funds, we chose to invest wisely, in women. It was March 2009, and I was traveling to meet with our pilot project partner, Women for Women International. On the plane I read about participants in their programs, women who had survived war.

I arrived in tears. The atrocities these women had experienced were beyond comprehension. So was their strength and resilience. A year later Wafa’a, a widow who lost her husband to a mortar landing on their apartment, held up her first pillar candle telling President Obama that Iraqi women are strong and independent.

That is how we started, and who we are. All of our candles are handmade by strong women building a brighter future for themselves and their families, here in the U.S. and overseas. Women who have faced and overcome unspeakable adversity.

February 14th is the worldwide event day for ONE BILLION RISING. We are incredibly inspired by this movement and Eve’s engaging approach to activism. It relates to our own purpose and the women we work with, which is why we sent the Valentine’s Day email.

We encourage you to visit V-Day on facebook and ONE BILLION RISING to discover powerful videos, images and more.

Thank you for asking.

And if you missed our email, here are the links:

Break The Chain, One Billion RisingOne Billion Rising video

Ten Inspiring Quotes from Ten Extraordinary Women

In celebration and recognition of International Women’s day, coming up on March 8th, we’ve chosen to showcase these powerful quotes by some of our favorite influential women. The words of these extraordinary women resonate deeply with us and our mission at Prosperity Candle.

“When war ends, women are the first to pick up the pieces. Where there is no market place, they go door to door. When homes are destroyed, mothers and daughters haul stones to rebuild or plow fields together.”

Zainab Salbi, founder of Women for Women International and author of Between Two Worlds Escape from Tyranny: Growing up in the Shadow of Saddam

“Sometimes I imagine I’m going along and the Taliban stop me. I take my sandal and hit them on the face and say what you’re doing is wrong. Education is our right, don’t take it from us.”

Malala Yousafzai, 14 year old Pakistani activist committed to education and women’s rights

“Women offer unique contributions to making and keeping peace – and that those contributions lead to better outcomes not just for women, but for entire societies.”

Hillary Rodham Clinton, former Secretary of State

“After all, how can a society flourish, a country attain democracy and health, children grow into intelligent beings, sensitive to the needs of an ever more fragile and endangered planet, if half it’s people are kept out of the drivers seat?”

Alice Walker, feminist, activist, and author of The Color Purple

“The day will come when men will recognize woman as his peer, not only at the fireside, but in councils of the nation. Then, and not until then, will there be the perfect comradeship, the ideal union between the sexes that shall result in the highest development of the race.”

Susan B. Anthony, prominent American Civil Rights leader and women’s suffrage activist

“The battle for the individual rights of women is one of long standing and none of us should countenance anything which undermines it.”

Eleanor Roosevelt, former first lady, recognized for her human rights achievements

“You must learn to be still in the midst of activity and to be vibrantly alive in repose.”

Indira Gandhi, British Prime Minister of India, named “Woman of the Millennium” in a poll by the BBC in 1999

“When you bring consciousness to anything, things begin to shift.”

Eve Ensler, American playwright, feminist, and founder of VDay and the One Billion Rising movement

“We must find opportunities to make change happen – we must not tire, we must not give up, we must persist.”

Melanne Verveer, United States Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues and former Chief of Staff to Hilary Clinton

“Whatever the problem, be part of the solution. Don’t just sit around raising questions and pointing out obstacles.”

Tina Fey, feminist and powerful female role model in pop culture

We’ll be celebrating women all month long with our partners at Women for Women International and we encourage you to do the same! Check out our candles and gift sets that donate to Women for Women and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for daily updates!


On Thursday, this brave 15-year old Afghan girl walked out of the hospital three months after being shot for saying that girls should receive an education. Amazing and still, sobering. We are inspired and at the same time reminded of the very different world she has grown up in.

At Prosperity Candle we try not to take a stance on issues relating to politics, faith, and questions like how we should be engaged in Afghanistan. It’s not that we don’t have strong opinions – we do – it’s simply that we believe our mission and work transcend different perspectives. Helping women rebuild their lives, war widows learn a trade to earn a living wage, and families escape poverty is universal. We’re not trying to change the world.  We’re working to change lives for the better.

We imagine most people would agree. But there are those who do not, as stories like Malala’s make clear. When a girl is attacked for wanting an education – something that should be a shared human right – we should all speak up. There are times when cultural context and religious differences need to be considered, but not here, not with Malala’s cause. It transcends everything.

It’s hard to believe, but not too long ago women were denied voting rights in this country. They could not pursue most professional careers, let alone expect equal pay. In education, we have fared better, but it has taken a long time to ensure equal access. Today, as a father of two young girls, I can’t imagine living in a community that didn’t provide the same opportunities for girls as for boys.

Malala’s story is a sobering reminder that in too many places and for billions of girls and women, opportunity is little more than a word. Denied to them are education, choosing to marry, pursuing a career, friendships. Self determination. Happiness.

We should all speak up.


End of Summer Sale: 40% Off All Collections

We have to make room for our Fall Collection, so we are launching an End of Summer Sale. Between now and Labor Day we are taking 40% off the price of all of our products.

We are excited to offer our products at reduced prices because it means more people will purchase meaningful gifts and in turn change more lives.

So as our summer fun comes to a close, think of all the fall birthdays, weddings, and other occasions you have coming up, and consider some of these meaningful gifts at rare prices.

Coffee Tin Candles



Even if summer is coming to an end, it can still be buggy out there. Shoo away late season bugs with our stylish and citronella infused Coffee Tin Candles.

Regularly priced at $18, but with our sale you’ll save over $7 and get them for $10.80.





Fun Floral Tealights



A summer favorite, these Fun Floral Tealights are great even as we head into the fall. They’ll keep your spirits up, bring bright colors inside, and are handcrafted by Kisii artisan families in Kenya.

With our sale, you’ll save $8.80 on each purchase for $13.20.





Global Sisters Gift Set – Supports Women for Women International



Part of our Cause Candles Collection, the Global Sisters Gift Set benefits Women for Women International. These unscented soy blend candles are handcrafted in Iraq by graduates of Women for Women International. They have natural cotton wicks and will burn brightly for 80 hours.

Consider giving them as a gift today for the reduced price of $16.80.




Soda Bottle Candles



These recycled Soda Bottle Candles are a stylish way to light a festive late summer evening. They are poured by Burmese women rebuilding their lives in the U.S. after years in refugee camps. We offer them in several inspiring colors and scents.

Regularly $18 for one, our sale brings them down to $10.80.





Don’t forget these are just some ideas; the End of Summer sale applies to all of our products!

Siiri featured on Fast Company’s League of Extraordinary Women!

We are honored and humbled to see Leading Partner Siiri Morley listed among heroes like Zainab Salbi, Hillary Clinton, and Sheryl WuDunn on Fast Company’s League of Extraordinary Women, a list that showcases women who are addressing the world’s most dire needs with innovative non-profit and for-profit strategies.

We are excited to see some of our friends and partners, like Women for Women International, The Girl Effect, Every Mother Counts, and 10 x 10, and to find out about some truly exciting ventures like We Advance, BRAC, and 10,000 Women, whose missions deeply resonate with our own.

All we can say is, wow. These women are doing incredible things to empower women world-wide, and consequently change the world. We are honored to be counted among them!

6 More Meaningful Charitable Gift Ideas to Honor Mom & Empower Women

So you bought Mom a candle gift set (or maybe a gift certificate or candle subscription) and now you’re looking for other ways to show her you care by empowering other Moms. Maybe you’re looking for an e-card or physical card to round out your gifts, or maybe Mom is the type of Mom who already has too much stuff and would rather give a donation in her name to support another woman in need.

There are so many great ways to support Moms around the world while honoring and celebrating your own Mom this Mother’s Day, so we decided to share some of our favorite charitable Mother’s Day gift ideas with you this week:

Women for Women International

Women for Women partners with Prosperity Candle to empower women

Of course, we first thought we’d highlight our partner’s, Women for Women International, Mother’s Day e-cards that support women’s empowerment. As Emily Deschanel notes here, a card for your Mom can change the life of a woman survivor of war who is rebuilding her life. Prosperity Candle partners with Women for Women in Iraq to offer women a candle making business opportunity.

Every Mother Counts

Every Mother Counts campaign for No Mother's Day to support maternal health for women

Christy Turlington’s Every Mother Counts campaign works to educate all of us about the dangers that many women face as they become mothers. Not all women safely can become mothers, due to the risks they face during childbirth. Here, Christy Turlington’s team encourages mothers to become silent on Mother’s Day in solidarity with mothers to be who loose their lives. The campaign is called No Mother’s Day. A powerful reminder of what the world would be like without moms.

Oxfam America

Oxfam America offers gifts that give back to Moms this Mother's Day

Train a midwife today with Oxfam America for Mother's Day

Our friends at Oxfam have a fantastic range of gifts that give back available for Mother’s Day. Your donation can give a woman a garden, school supplies, midwife training or more. Imagine how good Mom will feel knowing that her gift changed another woman’s life! A e-card can be sent straight to your Mom letting her know that a donation was made in her name.

Partners In Health

Partners In Health can save Moms lives for Mother's Day with a charitable gift idea

Partners In Health helps make childbirth a moment of joy for new Moms

You can save a Mom’s life this Mother’s Day by donating to Partners In Health, an international organization that offers health care to poor women (and men) all around the world. You can feel good knowing that you’ve helped a new Mom have a safe and healthy experience starting her family. Donate now in your Moms name and she’ll be sent a note!


the IRC supports refugee women this mother's day with charitable gift ideas for mom

Give a charitable gift this Mother's Day that helps a new mom access maternal health care

Like the IRC, we at Prosperity Candle cares deeply about women refugees. Have you purchased a candle made by the Burmese refugees we work with and now want to support an organization that helps provide them with refuge in the aftermath of trauma? We love the IRC’s work and encourage you to think about buying Mom a charitable gift that helps a refugee woman receive maternal health care, access business training, or care for a flock of chickens or a goat that will help her invest in her future. Mom will be sent a note letting her know about her unique gift!


CARE USA offers charitable gifts to save children's lives this Mother's Day

CARE USA believes that every child deserves a 5th birthday - donate a charitable gift to save children's lives this Mother's Day

CARE works hard to ensure the rights of women and girls around the world. For Mother’s Day this year, you can make a donation in your Mom’s name and send her a beautiful, inspiring e-card. CARE ensures that mothers have access to the care they need, clean water, and nutritional food to ensure the safety and health of her family. As CARE says, “Every Child Deserves a 5th Birthday.” Don’t you agree?

We’re on the Road for International Women’s Day!

We’ve been talking a lot about ways to celebrate international women’s day in our recent blog posts, so we thought we’d share which events we’re attending this week (and which we wish we could!) to commemorate the occasion. It is the 101st anniversary of the event, after all! We hope you can attend some of these fantastic events. Which others should we know about?

Prosperity Candle will be attending the Women in the World Summit in 2012 where Hillary Clinton, Angelina Jolie, Meryl Streep and many others are speaking for International Women's Day

Photo credit: Women in the World Foundation

Women of Vision Annual Conference & Lobby Day, March 4-6th, Washington DC

Women of Vision/World Vision chapter leaders and members are gathering in Washington DC for their National Conference. Their theme this year is “Every Woman Has a Story.” The 2 day conference is followed by a lobby day. Prosperity Candle is exhibiting throughout the conference.

United Nations Association of Greater Boston Film Screening, March 5th, Boston

The United Nations Association of Greater Boston is hosting an event entitled “War Redefined: 2012 International Women’s Day Celebration” on March 5th. They will be screening War Redefined, the final film in the Women, War & Peace series, and featuring a panel discussion after the film with series executive producer Abigail E. DisneyAmbassador Swanee HuntDr. Amani El Jack, and Sahana Dharmapuri. RSVP here. Our team hopes to be there!

Vital Voices and the Economist Panel Discussion, March 6th, Washington DC

Vital Voices and the Economist are teaming up to present an event entitled: “The 2012 Women’s Economic Opportunity Index Launch: Engaging Women in the Workforce – An Economic and Business Imperative”. They are bringing together a diverse panel to discuss women in the workplace. RSVP here. Siiri Morley from Prosperity Candle will be attending.

Oxfam Sisters on the Planet International Women’s Day Summit, March 7th, Washington DC

Oxfam America is hosting their Sisters on the Planet International Women’s Day summit this week in Washington DC to connect and inspire their Sisters on the Planet ambassadors and rally them to create change during their lobby day. Siiri Morley from Prosperity Candle will be attending to highlight our new Sisters on the Planet candle.

ICRW Panel Discussion, March 7th, Washington DC

Join the ICRW for a panel discussion entitled “The Bottom Line: How Big Business Is Empowering Women and Girls.” This Passports to Progress event will take place on the eve of International Women’s Day, March 7. A diverse panel of corporate and social enterprise investors – including PBS Newshour, QVC, Coca Cola, Criterion Ventures, and Women’s World Banking – will discuss how and why big business interests are banking on the future of women and girls half a world away. RSVP here. Siiri Morley from Prosperity Candle will be attending.

Women’s Education Project & BRAC USA Panel Discussion, March 8th, New York City

The Women’s Education Project (WEP) and BRAC USA, in partnership with the Asia Society, are hosting a panel discussion to celebrate the 101st International Women’s Day on March 8. Special guests and  leaders of non-profit organizations will discuss how integrated, innovative approaches to micro-finance, health, education and gender equality training have empowered women in Asia to improve their lives and take steps out of poverty, and how these Asia-born solutions are being adapted in Africa. RSVP here.

Join Me on the Bridge, March 8th, Everywhere!

We’ve talked a lot about this series of events, but we just want to remind you again! To learn more about Women for Women International’s Join Me on the Bridge events, click here. We’re proud that Elizabeth Buckley, a Prosperity Candle volunteer, will be representing us at the Boston Join Me on the Bridge event!

Women in the World Summit, March 8-10th, New York City

This week inspiring women from around the globe will convene in New York City for Newsweek & The Daily Beast’s third annual Women in the World Summit. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the newest leader to announce her participation—she will join recently-minted Oscar-winner Meryl Streep for a special on-stage finale to the three-day event. Also in the lineup: Nobel winner Leymah Gbowee, Angelina Jolie, Madeleine K. Albright, IMF chief Christine Lagarde, and many more. Learn more here.

6 Inspiring Ways to Celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th

International Women’s Day on March 8th is quickly approaching. What are you planning to do to celebrate the day and honor all the achievements of women around the world?

While we can all agree that there is a long way to go in terms of achieving political, social and economic equality for women around the globe, we think International Women’s Day is a great time to reflect on where we’ve come from and where we’re going in terms of creating a better world for women.

Prosperity Candle empowers women to rebuild their lives by creating candle-making businesses - celebrate International Women's day by buying a gift that gives back

And we all know that the world as a whole will be better when women are offered equal opportunity.

Here are some of our top picks for this International Women’s Day, the 101st anniversary of the day!

1) Watch the Women in the World Summit – Inspiring leaders like Fawzia Koofi, Sheryl Sandberg, Tina Brown, Angelina Jolie, Alek Wek, Meryl Streep, Lauren Bush Lauren (our friend & partner at FEED Projects), Diane von Furstenberg, Zainab Salbi, Alyse Nelson and many others will be speaking at the 3rd annual Women in the World Summit in NYC from March 8-10th. Can’t make it in person? No worries – you can watch the live webcast!

2) Visit the MAMA Exhibit on Global Motherhood & Sign the Every Mother Counts PledgeThe International Museum of Women and Christy Turlington’s Every Mother Counts initiative have teamed up to bring you an incredible exhibit on global motherhood. As part of this compelling online exhibition, there is a call to action to sign a pledge to prevent needless pregnancy-related deaths and improve health outcomes for women around the world.

Oxfam and Prosperity Candle team up to support the Sisters on the Planet initiative for International Women's Day

3) Become a Sister on the Planet with Oxfam AmericaOxfam America is working to invest in women and fight poverty by uniting women around the world as Sisters on the Planet. Oxfam America is now harnessing the power of women to create political and social change through its Sisters on the Planet initiative. Today, a diverse group of American women known as Sisters on the Planet are raising awareness about hunger, climate change, and other crises facing women in poor countries. Learn more or become a Sister on the Planet here. Or shop for a Sisters on the Planet Prosperity Candle to support their work and spread the word.

4) Blog for International Women’s Day with Gender Across Borders & CARE – Gender Across Borders and CARE have teamed up to bring a global voice to the day with a live blogging event. This event is a “day where bloggers, writers, and humanitarian organizations are asked to write about the International Women’s Day theme on March 8.” Their theme this year is “Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures”. Learn more here!

Join Women (Me) on the Bridge this year to bring awareness to women's rights on the International Women's Day, join Prosperity Candle and Women for Women International to create change

5) Join Women on the Bridge – As we wrote about in an earlier blog post, Women for Women International has started a global movement that has captured the imagination of women around the world. In 2011, Women for Women galvanized women from Accra to Baghdad, London to New York to gather on bridges in solidarity for women around the world. This symbolic act emphasized that women create bridges of peace. Zainab Salbi, founder of Women for Women International, will be speaking at the New York Join Me on the Bridge event on the Brooklyn Bridge. Learn more about events in your neck of the woods here.

6) Honor a Woman who has Changed your Life with a Unique GiftIn addition to advocating for women’s rights, spreading the word and attending an event, we encourage you to find a unique gift for a woman in your life this International Women’s Day. How many women mentors, teachers, relatives and friends have supported you in your personal journey in life? How many have inspired you to be true to yourself? Brave in the face of many challenges? Consider sending a gift to these women this year to share with them how much they have changed your life. As always, each of our candles comes with the name of the woman who made it. By buying a candle you directly support a woman as she rebuilds her life, making each candle a vehicle for social change and global connection!

Stand with women on March 8th: Join Me on the Bridge

We are proud to feature this guest blog by Pam Steel, a Women for Women International supporter & women’s rights advocate in Boston. Women for Women International is a fantastic nonprofit devoted to helping women survivors of war rebuild their lives. We launched our pilot project with them in Baghdad, Iraq to support their program graduates.

Join Women (Me) on the Bridge this year to bring awareness to women's rights on the International Women's Day, join Prosperity Candle and Women for Women International to create change

Here Pam invites you to participate in the Join Me on the Bridge campaign this International Women’s Day (March 8th) in Boston! The Join Me on the Bridge campaign asks us all to “stand with women on 8th March to build bridges of peace and hope for the future.” It is “the coming together of women and men around the world, united in taking a stand for PEACE and women’s EQUALITY.” Take a look at this link for more information on Join Me on the Bridge campaigns in other cities around the world.

A friend introduced me to Women for Women International, and over the years I have been a sister to five women: two women from Rwanda, one from Kosovo, and two in the DCR. Each sister made me far more attentive to world news — and I would listen with new interest to any news related to their countries.

On International Women’s Day in 2011, March 8th, about 50 women joined us on the Massachusetts Avenue bridge throughout the morning  to celebrate the day and stand in solidarity with other women around the world.

Join Women (Me) on the Bridge this year to bring awareness to women's rights on the International Women's Day, join Prosperity Candle and Women for Women International to create change

This year we are hoping to have even more women join us…including representatives from other organizations working towards peace like Oxfam, the United Nations Association of Boston, Shalupe Foundation (a non-profit for women and children in the Congo), possibly some politicians, and of course a representative from WfWI partner Prosperity Candle!

There will be a bit of time at the beginning for people to make signs if they have not brought them and Equal Exchange Fair Trade Coffee will  provide us with coffee, while on the bridge.

Join Women (Me) on the Bridge this year to bring awareness to women's rights on the International Women's Day, join Prosperity Candle and Women for Women International to create change

Then a short program, dedicated to women that have made a difference in the past, some music, and then we’ll walk across the bridge from Boston to the Cambridge—with photos and media coverage.

Upon return, each of the organization representatives will say a few words about what their group is doing to move things forward. At the close, there will be an invitation for all women to join together for an informal lunch at a place in Kenmore Square.

Hope you’ll sign up on the website!

~ Pamela

Looking Back on 2011

2011 was an amazing year for Prosperity Candle. As with any new organization, it had a lot of ups and downs, long nights for our teams, and many anxious moments. But as the year went on, we found our groove and grew as a social enterprise. Our team celebrated the new year with a lot of pride and anticipation about next steps for 2012.

We’d love to share some of our proudest accomplishments of 2011 here.

Growth of our Refugee Program

Prosperity Candle, a social enterprise in Massachusetts, works with women refugees from Burma to create high quality candles

We’re proud to say that we were able to expand our local program with Burmese women refugees in our Northampton, MA location. We trained two new women, Mee Mee and Naw, and Moo Kho was promoted to a trainer and manager. The women now work together beautifully and create stunning candles. They’ve been pouring perfect candles for a diverse range of clients and working more regular hours with us. And they’re learning more English every day!

An Amazing Team

Prosperity Candle sells meaningful gifts that give back, to women locally and globally. Give a gift, change a life.

We’ve been so lucky to have had the support of so many talented and passionate people throughout Massachusetts – and some either further afield (Chicago, NYC, etc.). Thank you to Nichole, Brenna, Elizabeth, Anna, Lynn, Joan, Kalista, Sarah, Ashleigh, Liz, Andrea, Sarah, Min Min, Stephanie, Sophie, Allen, Grace, Lourdes, Nandi, Lisa, Priti and Jamie for all of your help! You’ve helped us improve our branding, our newsletter, our social media/blog, our online marketing, our PR efforts, our product collection, and our sales outreach. And you’ve helped us at sales events, packed boxes, transport the refugee women… the list goes on! You’ve been invaluable to our team’s success.

A Beautiful New Product Line that Spans the World

Prosperity Candle gifts that change women's lives - from around the world.

As you must have noticed, our product line has expanded dramatically with new gift sets, artisan candles and collaborations with fair trade groups creating coffee, chocolate, tea, and other handcrafted products. We have been proud of the growth of our collection – which now spans the world from Haiti to Kenya, Vietnam to Afghanistan, Iraq to Massachusetts! Keep watch for our Valentine’s Day products, soon to come!

Custom Candles for Corporate, Donor & Event Gifts

Prosperity Candle creates meaningful corporate gifts, event and donor gifts that give back to women around the world

A big part of our growth has been thanks to business and nonprofit leaders interested in giving uniquecorporate, donor, and event giftsthat embody their organizational values. We are now customizing our candles with the branding of other organizations – complete with their colors, logo, messaging, and url. These candles have been purchased by groups like Amnesty International, Kiva, eBay’s Women’s Initiative Network, Women for Women International, the Harvard Business School’s Social Enterprise Conference, and FEED Projects, amongst many others! Thank you all for your support.

Deeper Partnerships with Nonprofit Causes

Prosperity Candle partners with Women for Women International to train women in Baghdad, Iraq in candlemaking

We have been proud to deepen our partnership with Women for Women International by becoming an alliance partner in addition to being a field partner. This means a commitment to supporting each others efforts to spread the word about our efforts and shared values.

We have also launched new collaborative efforts with groups like World Pulse and the Preemptive Love Coalition.

Faith-Based Partnerships

Prosperity Candle created advent candles that give back and empower women around the world

In 2011, we were excited to launch our first advent candle set for the advent season. It was a big hit!

We also started partnering with a number of faith-based groups committed to promoting social justice and undertaking humanitarian work around the world. We are proud to be working with the United Methodist Committee on Relief, the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, and Week of Compassion.

More soon on some exciting announcements for 2012!