Lighting the Way to New Life
Written By Freedom Business Alliance
You know, I used to catch myself with my head down because I was so ashamed of what I was doing. Now I catch myself with my head high because I am proud.”
The words spilled forth as Ke, a NightLight team member, held up a piece jewelery she had just created. Ke was once one of the many Thai women bought and sold in the bars of Bangkok night after night. For five years Annie Dieselberg had visited her in the bars, watching her slowly lose her health, her dreams, her dignity, and her identity. One night when she was drunk, Ke confided that sometimes she cut herself because she was not sure if she was still a human being. For Ke, seeing the blood and feeling the pain confirmed her humanity. Dieselberg could see that being bought and sold as a commodity–a sex object–was slowly draining Ke of life. She began to dream of a way to provide alternative employment that could give life rather than drain it from Thailand’s beautiful daughters.
The dream came true in 2005 when a young woman in the bars told Dieselberg she wanted an alternative to prostitution. With a small box of beads and supplies, Dieselberg met her at McDonald’s for a jewelry-making lesson. A few days later, Ke called and announced she too was done with prostitution, and wanted to come work with Dieselberg. The jewelry lessons continued in Dieselberg’s home but by the end of the first year, they were renting a building with 10 women employed. In 2006, NightLight Design was officially registered as a business, with Dieselberg serving as CEO.
Since then, over 175 Thai women have been employed by NightLight. Many international survivors have also been able to join the Thai women for job training. The business has expanded to include apparel, bags, beaded ornaments, and screen-printing. NightLight Foundation, the non-profit branch, was registered in 2008, creating a hybrid structure to serve both business and mission. The alternative employment provides holistic opportunities for healing, growth in life skills, and advancement in a job that allows women to make a difference for others. The work environment is professional but feels like family. Women feel supported as they struggle with emotional and family situations. They are able to take risks and make mistakes then learn how to grow from these opportunities. Women who once thought their dreams were dead are freed to come alive again and restore long lost dreams for their future. Today, Ke oversees the sourcing of materials and teaches jewelry-making techniques. She has dignity and is proud of the work of her hands in creating beautiful products of value.
Founder Annie Dieselberg
NightLight Design’s products are all handmade by the women. The jewelry is produced with semi-precious stones, freshwater pearls, and designer glass beads. Many of the bags are made with African fabric and designed by the first African survivor of trafficking to get a work permit in Thailand. Boho Chic describes the look and feel of the designs and is influenced by elements of the various cultures of the women who make them. The international culture represented at NightLight celebrates the diversity in God’s kingdom and gives NightLight a platform to not only offer assistance to women from around the world, but to empower and honor their own unique cultures. Each purchase of these products is a direct contribution to the life transformation of the women from Thailand, Central Asia, South America, and Africa. The products connect the compassionate and generous heart of the buyer with the joy of a woman on the other side of the world who is celebrating her freedom as she creates products of beauty and value.
Nightlight is a featured participant in the Freedom Business Alliance Wholesale program. Wholesale buyers can stock their stores with beautiful jewelry and accessories from Nightlight and join our global network of businesses working together to bring an end to human trafficking.
Want to learn more about Nightlight? Visit them online.
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