By Celeste Stevens
In 2014, I attended Colour Conference with my mum and my then 6-month-old baby girl, Adelaide Grace. Mum and I have been coming to Colour since I was in high school, and this was the first time I was fulfilling my dream of bringing my own daughter along. It was during The Sisterhood session that The Hamlin Fistula was presented. I wept my way through the presentation and at the end I turned to my mum and said I would do whatever I could to fund at least one surgery that year. I had just opened a small online business and wanted to use whatever platform I would build from that, to raise funds. I didn’t have much in my hand, my business margins were small, but I knew I had to do something. I have sat under the Sisterhood message since I was 15, my heart was once again stirred to expand and to do more for people. The message of ‘sisters to come along side of’ now felt closer than it had before.
The story of the Ethiopian women resonated with me as I had complications in my own labour with Adelaide that resulted in an emergency caesarean section; the difference between my story and their story is location and medical care. If I were in Ethiopia my story would very well have played out differently. How could I not respond to my sisters?
I spent the next few weeks a mess every time I thought about the session and the women in Ethiopia so I started plotting how I could raise funds. I created a line of products that was specifically to raise money for the 500 Project; $5 from every sale from that line would be donated, this was my first step to getting $500 to donate. I continued to use my social media to raise awareness and to encourage customers to purchase from the 500 Project line. Later in the year when my business had grown and my social media following expanded, I held an online auction through Instagram where approximately 15 other businesses partnered with me to create stunning product packs that people could bid on. At the end of the year I had raised $1200 for the 500 Project, which funded two surgeries and helped Hamlin Fistula purchase much needed items.
The 500 Project is a practical way we can bring some kindness and goodness to those in need; it’s a way for us to show people Jesus. What an honour it is for us to play a small part in restoring dignity. My part was very small; all it took was making a plan and following that plan through.
The heart of Sisterhood is that every woman can find an important & critical level of partnership. We seek to raise funds, bring awareness to core issues and practically make the world a better place. Visit our Projects page for information on all of our current projects and partners. If you’d like to make a donation, you can give online or find further information on other ways to give in our Financial Guidelines. Thanks for joining us on the journey of the Colour Sisterhood – placing value on humanity and desiring to make the world a better place!