Woman of the Week: Shannon Keith

Meet Shannon Keith!

Shannon founded Sudara (then known as International Princess Project) after her second trip to India in 2005. “I traveled often but my trip that year affected me in a way that I couldn’t forget. It was after visiting one of India’s many red-light districts, that I witnessed a tragedy in the lives of women and girls across the country. I also heard story after story of young girls who were sold into the sex trade by their families, orphans picked up off the street by pimps, and even young mothers just trying to feed their children and survive. Many were held against their will. Others were trapped by economic poverty. The worst of all were the stories of those who managed to escape the brothels only to return because of the social stigma they faced as a former sex worker; they could not find another way to survive. I realized, then, what was occurring was modern day slavery.”

“And these realities forever changed me.”

When Shannon returned home, she gathered a group of friends and family and told them about an idea. She wanted to provide women with an alternative source of employment that would allow them to escape the sex trade and support themselves and their families.

In 2006, Shannon partnered with a sewing center in India and taught 6 women how to sew a pattern for her idea – Punjammoes loungewear and pajama pants.

Paula Watts Photography

Here are our usual questions:

Favorite Book: “Too many to choose from, so I’ll go with a childhood favorite that ignited my love for reading from an early age:  Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein”

Favorite Beverage: “nonalcoholic:  Arnold Palmer; cocktail:  Manhattan”

What are you passionate about? “Freedom and love.  We need more of both in the world and I’m on a mission to do my part in spreading both!”

What do you do really, really well? “Love & care for my family”

If you could do anything with your time (regardless of obligations and finances), what would you do? “Exactly what I am doing but while traveling globally with my family while doing it!”

In closing, Shannon remains so hopeful about Sudara’s future “We are excited about the future and to empower even more women with the resources and skills they need to live in freedom and with hope.”

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