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Just outside of Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia, looms Mount Entoto. Once home to emperors and monasteries, the sacred mountain now houses a community of over one million Ethiopians with a positive HIV status.

They have flocked to the mountain seeking

the HEALING waters that are believed to flow there.

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Emebet journeyed to Mount Entoto several years ago when she discovered she had HIV. Like several of our Ethiopian artisans, she tragically did not know she had contracted HIV until her husband died of the disease.


Thanks to life-saving antiretroviral drugs,

HIV is as treatable as Type 2 diabetes.
Yet, most of the world

remains unaware

of even the most basic transmission facts.

HIV infected individuals

are often stigmatized

by their disease, despite the fact that it cannot be transmitted in a normal household setting.

In fact, once those living with HIV are on the appropriate drug regime, the virus becomes


in their bodies and

They can live




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Because of these common misconceptions about the disease, Ethiopians identified as HIV-positive are often shunned by their families and kicked out of their homes, the places that should be their closest support systems.

This also leaves these individuals without a means of income and they often resort to begging or very low wage jobs in order to survive.

Such was the case with Emebet.

Keeping her disease a secret, and still believing that Mount Entoto’s healing waters, rather than medication, would heal her, Emebet worked as a low paid house laborer and continued to quietly struggle with her disease.

THEN ONE DAY, things changed for Emebet.

She learned that her disease did not need to define her, and that she had true value. She began taking her antiretroviral drugs regularly and found a job creating jewelry with Noonday’s partner group.

Emebet, along with 140 artisans, crafts jewelry made from artillery shells that farmers find in their fields leftover from former war conflicts.

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Once used as a means of violence and destruction, these shells are melted down by village artisans, made into beads, and given a beautiful new purpose when they are sent to the women of Entoto.

With a community, a well paying job, and health, Emebet dreamed of starting a family.

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She married a kind man she met on the mountain and they now have a beautiful son named Yasbera (which means, “God’s work”).

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After experiencing the rejection of her own family and having her dreams interrupted by her diagnosis, Emebet says,

“I want to raise my son in a home full of love
and provide him with a good education.”

With the support of her new community and the promise of sustainable work, Emebet has found the hope to dream again.

When you purchase from Noonday Collection, you create opportunity for someone like Emebet.

wear their story, share their story.
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Noonday Collection uses fashion and design to create economic opportunity for the vulnerable.