Something Worth Carrying

Have you ever wondered what the name Carry 117 means? The name and meaning behind Carry 117 is three-fold, really. Here’s why:

  1. Every product that is made by the women of Carry 117 is something you can carry. A bag, a credit card holder, a lunchbox… You name it!
  2. We want to carry the Bible verse Isaiah 1:17. This verse says, “Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.” This verse is the heartbeat behind Carry 117 and is the driving force behind everything we do as a ministry.
  3. We want to carry these women from where they were into a brighter future, for themselves and for their families, by providing them with a hand up from poverty rather than a hand-out.

And really, this third meaning is why our products are truly something worth carrying.

Yes, the products the women make are beautiful. They are practical and fashionable. They are handmade with the finest leather and material in all of Ethiopia.

But we carry them for a reason so much bigger than that. Or really, for a few reasons so much bigger than that.

Their names are:










Lem Lem



and Alem #2.

And you know what? The list doesn’t stop there.

There’s Selam, Alem’s daughter.

And Nardi and Misgana, Aynalem’s daughters.

And sweet Yabsira, Medi’s son.


Because the way these ladies are able to provide for their kids will impact the way their kids are able to provide for and impact the generation to follow them.

The poverty and patterns of unemployment that exist in Korah are cyclical, meaning it will only continue unless something is done to break the cycle.

The way that will happen is through economic empowerment. We know that economic empowerment will provide the foundation necessary for sustainable development. As the women are empowered as they are provided with a job, a skill, and the opportunity to earn a paycheck, their families will be strengthened and preserved. This not only impacts the women and their families, but the community and the country of Ethiopia as a whole will ultimately benefit.

That’s what makes our products something worth carrying

They are products that we carry in hopes of impacting this generation and the next in the community of Korah for the better.

They are products that we carry in hopes of changing a pattern of instability, unemployment, and poverty that is overwhelmingly prevalent in the community of Korah.

They are products we carry in hopes of preserving families and preventing children from becoming orphans in the village of Korah.

They are products we carry with a goal of restoring dignity and a sense of hope that’s been lost in these women.

They are products we carry to not only share the story behind Carry 117, but to give each woman of Carry 117 a voice and a way to share her own story.

By carrying these bags, you’re carrying the stories of each of these women. And in a world that’s told these women their voices and their stories don’t matter, you’re giving them a voice to share their story every time you carry these bags.

That is priceless.

And that is something worth carrying.

So now that you know… What will you carry?