“The love we give away is the only one we keep” is one of the inspiring messages we found printed on fabric cards at the Dignita Store in Amsterdam. Like we mentioned in our previous post of this series, this shop is a social enterprise that sells products made by survivors of human trafficking to finance – among others – culinary training programs for them. That way, the victims have a chance to look at the future with hope thanks to the new professional opportunities they now aspire to.
The entity behind the Dignita Store is the Dutch arm of Not for Sale, an international organization that defines its goals as follows:
“To break the cycle of exploitation, Not For Sale provides survivors and at-risk communities with shelter, healthcare, and legal services, first attending to the most basic needs of individuals who have suffered extreme trauma. We are dedicated to addressing the profound and enduring effects of violence and exploitation. Only once their physical and emotional well-being is established can we begin to work together toward long-term opportunities for education and employment.”
Located in the heart of the Red Light District, at the Dignita Store, you can find original handmade souvenirs of Amsterdam. In addition, if you are having troubles deciding what to take with you or to whom, you will be able to enjoy a wonderful coffee and take your time to think it over. We strongly recommend that you talk to the friendly staff and ask them about the meaningful purpose of the store, they will be delighted to share their social background with you.
(To find out more on Not for Sale and the Dignita social enterprises read our interview with Meijet Broers here.)
TEXT: Eva Blanco
PHOTOS: ROSSANA Photography