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From The Streets To The Runways: The Incredible Story of The Young Weavers Of The NewHope Co-op

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It’s always a great joy talking about businesses which improve people’s lives. When there’s no more hope, a few would say that you have to look for it in a job. Nevertheless…

Working can rebuild a broken life. I read it in an interview to Suor Rita Giaretta who, together with other nuns, founded the co-op I’ll talk about later.

No welfarism can truly help people in need to be born again. The answer to the question: “what shall we do?” is one and only. Creating jobs. Giving to those who lost everything the chance to take control of their lives.

Let’s take one step at the time. What does “from the streets to the runways” mean? Well, there’s a story you have to listen to, first. It will only take you 5 minutes, but It’s worth your time, I assure you.

It starts with a brave woman, Suor Rita Giaretta, who decided to act against the horrible conditions of many young women forced to sell their bodies on the streets of Caserta.

Casa Rut was born for this reason: sheltering young migrant women, victims of human trafficking, in order to help them free themselves from street slavery.

Many of these women are minors, many have children, ALL OF THEM have been imprisoned in a world of violence and exploitation when they were only looking for a better life. Girls like Hope and Blessing left their homes in Nigeria to find a job in Italy, hoping to be able to help their families to survive.

Instead of a job, they found the inhuman violence of human trafficking and prostitution.

Casa Rut is a safe home where these women and their children find support to regain courage and self-confidence. But a co-op made the real magic!

In order to give to these women a real way to start living as free women, mothers and workers, Suor Rita Giaretta created theNewHope Co-op.

It’s a social cooperative run by these young migrant women, who sew clothing inspired by their countries of origin and other household goods.

During these years, the Angelo Affinita Foundation supported NewHope:

  • By financing tailoring courses with the aim of teaching the girls to basic techniques and the managerial know-who to grow their business.
  • By supporting the workshops with the purchase of fabrics and starting materials to produce the articles.
  • By fostering collaborations with other ethical associations, like the Consortium Il Sale della Terra in Benevento

The results obtained by the weavers of new hopes have exceeded any expectation! I’ll tell you two episodes that will give you an idea of what I’m talking about.

The first episode concerns Blessing Okoedion, a Nigerian women who, after having being saved from a life on the streets and welcomed in casa Rut, wrote a book to tell her experience. The Courage of Freedom had a great international success, as well as her commitment in condemning human trafficking.

Last year, Blessing received an award from the White House as “Hero” against human trafficking from the US Department of State! Nowadays, this young woman continues to raise awareness and to fight this ignoble evil.

The second episode regastr the whole team of NewHope weavers. Among the many projects with schools, one in particular got very exciting! The collaboration among NewHope, the students of a school in Caserta and the association BEAWARENOW.

The project “A Journey With NewHope” gave life to a fashion collection, also with the participation of Gucci, which donated some fabrics destined to become amazing clothes under the expert hands of the young migrant women.

Moreover, Newhope has just launched a new product (the scarf “Precious”) designed after the collaboration with designer Aurora Lobina, fostered by the Affinita Foundation.

Now NewHope has a store in Caserta and an e-commerce (http://www.coop-newhope.it). It’s true: every waste can blossom.

Do you want to help the young weavers of NewHope to blossom and rebuild their lives? GIVE YOUR DONATION and support them together with the Angelo Affinita Foundation!

No welfarism, but help to a virtuous project, which gives to those who suffer the means to be born again, both personally and professionally. Your donation will be fully devoted to the project you care about, in all transparency!


Angelo Affinita used to say: “A single person can make a difference”.

Do we want to try – TOGETHER – to make a difference? CLICK HERE.

A web page will open so you can give your decisive contribution to the projects of the Foundation and choose how to help us through a free-will donation or buying the book dedicated to Angelo.



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