How did JusticeKiss Ltd begin?
Right now that seems to be the question. It’s a valid question. It’s a good question. It’s also a hard question. Where do you start when describing a dream or passion?
When I was little, I was abused by someone close to me who should have been protecting me. I also had a very chaotic household that I lived in. This project is not about me, but I feel that giving some background into why it matters so much to me is important. Anyways, I often felt alone as a child. I felt very scared. I repressed memories to not deal with the pain and trauma. It has taken me years and years to unravel all the little places in my brain that impact what I do, how I live and who I am today. And, because of the way I started life, I have not a unique, but a heightened sense of justice about the world.
Skip forward to when I was 19. I moved to Nepal. I have a good story there, but truthfully it’s cause I wanted to do something and didn’t know any better. And I’m glad I did. I fell in love with Nepal. The colours, the people, the land. The utter chaos that was Nepal somehow made my brain make more sense. Time is stretchable in Nepal. Law is stretchable in Nepal. Colour combinations are stretchable in Nepal. The one constant I feel like I found there was hospitality. And the chaos can be exhilarating. It really can as it carries you on it’s waves to new and different places, interesting thing to see and eat and a schedule that just can not be tamed by a day planner. (how does one plan for city wide riot?)
And while all the chaos can be very fun…..it also leaves a lot of gaps. The longer I lived in Nepal the more gaps I found. And in the gaps are some of the hardest stories I’ve ever heard. Harder than I lived through. And there are people in those gaps, surviving. Humanity is a marvel. Don’t let anyone tell you different. It can be horrid. But it is truly one of the most resilient and lasting things I have ever witnessed.The way people suffer, the way people heal, the things they live through and the smile they can find again. That is a miracle.
My first experience with human trafficking, that I know for sure, was two little girls I met who were 3 and 6. They were cute as a button as the saying goes. Full of life, joy, giggles…..all the things little girls should be. Their father was MIA and their mother had been injured so she was staying with some friends who ran a community house near the border of India. They were the kind of girls you want to take home with you and love forever cause everything about them just say LOVE ME! A few weeks later we heard their mother had sold them to a “circus” in India. As the truly reprehensible always do, the term circus had been twisted to mean a place where men came to find any and every sexual pleasure. Thankfully, the house the mother had been staying at went and rescued them within a few days, but the shock and horror of the situation resonated with me at such a deep level it has stayed through the years.
There are many more stories I could tell about the things I saw in Nepal. Nearly 10 years of experiences good and bad. But how all this culminates into JusticeKiss is probably where we need to go next.
Nearly 15 years later, I found myself in New Zealand. Struggling with finding a purpose in the pretty well organized, much less chaotic developed world. I’m not from New Zealand so there was a little chaos there to deal with. But overall, life works in the developed world. There are hard bits, there is definitely suffering, but life kinda rolls on. I needed a mission. Something to do that felt worthwhile. I don’t care about money beyond survival. But my soul languishes without something worthwhile to put my hand to. And my dear friend heard my distress. And she gave me an idea. Simply put, she told me to buy some jewelry from women in Nepal and resell it. From there, ideas started blooming. The more I talked about these ideas the more they have rooted in me and grown up and now I feel like I just gotta give it a go. I believe the more people know about poverty and human trafficking the more solutions will come to these too big problems. So here we go…..the adventure begins.