So we've just composted our deflated carved pumpkins and we haven't even indulged in Thanksgiving trimmings yet, so why are we talking about the holidays already? Well, we're just so excited about the exciting new combination of holiday gift ideas that we couldn't wait to share them with you! So visit our Holiday section today and be among the first to browse our newly assembled collection of gift items.
Some of our favorite items?
First, there are these Embroidered Snowflake Cards from Handmade Expressions. They're made from recycled cotton rag paper and each is hand-embroidered. The intricate work results in this amazing product guaranteed to wow anyone receiving a holiday note from you.
How about counting down to the holidays the Fair Trade Way this year? The Fair Trade Divine Advent Calendar is now and stock. Each of the 24 days has a Fair Trade Divine milk chocolate heart that will tickle the taste buds of young and old alike. Divine chocolate is sourced from farmer-owned cocoa cooperative Kuapa Kokoo in Ghana. Be sure to get yours now because last year they sold out before you could say December.
Celebrate the celebration of lights with Global Exchange's own Hand-Painted Menorah. Brought to you in partnership with the workshop of Guillermo O. Reyes in San Ignacio, El Salvador and the Tin Marin Children's Museum in San Salvador. Twenty percent of the profits from this project will be reinvested back in the San Ignacio schools and fifty percent will be used to send the children of San Ignacio to the Tin Marin Children's Museum in San Salvador. Don't fret, we also have Beeswax Chanukah Menorah Candles to accompany this lively item.
Looking for some stocking stuffers? Check out our stock stuffer section with items under $30 and have an invaluable impact on small-scale farmers and artisans groups all over the world.
So, this holiday, give gifts that give back and let your dollar go a long way. Happy Holidays everyone.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
A few months ago, the Global Exchange Online Store went on a direct buy trip to Southern Africa and visited several Fair Trade artisan groups. One of those groups visited was Streetwires, a business with a social mission that is tackling the problems of unemployment and poverty in South Africa head on. Global Exchange buyers came back with amazing shared stories from the artisans there as well as beautiful crafts that can be found online.
Recently, we found out some good news about our partner artisan group. Streetwires founder, Patrick Schofield was named Social Entrepreneur of the Year for South Africa!
The award was presented at a glittering ceremony in Johannesburg on November 13th in which South Africa’s ‘Best Entrepreneur’, ‘Emerging Entrepreneur’ and Social Entrepreneur were announced.
Schofield comments, “ The award though given to me as an individual, is in recognition of all those who have been involved in building Streetwires into what it is today. That includes each individual artist who has dedicated their time and creative ability into producing the beautiful craft for which we have become known right through to my co-founders, Winston Rangwani & Anton Ressel with whom this journey began. But beyond this it is also in recognition of our role in leading within our field; in creative development, achieving our social objectives and in the engendered entrepreneurial spirit within Streetwires that has seen both us grow as an organisation and many people who have been part of Streetwires going on to build other successful organisations.
“We would like to thank all of those who have been part of creating Streetwires; suppliers, colleagues, friends, customers and supporters – those who have inspired us to accomplish what we set out to do and those who have assisted us in the more difficult times. We would especially like to thank the Raymond & Wendy Ackerman Pick n Pay Foundation and the Grassroots Business Initiative for their support – quite simply, without the backing of these two organisations, Streetwires would not be here today to celebrate this award."
About the Schwab Foundation Award:
“The Schwab Foundation works with media and corporate partners in several countries to search and select the most accomplished social entrepreneurs in the country every year. An eminent national jury then elects “The Social Entrepreneur of the Year”.
The main criteria for selection are:
1. Innovation: The candidate has transformed traditional practice through an innovative product, service, approach, or a more rigorous application of known technologies and ideas.
2. Sustainability: The organisation is achieving some degree of financial self-sustainability through revenues or is engaged in creating mutually beneficial partnerships with business and/or the public sector.3. Direct social impact: The candidate implements the initiative directly with poor or marginalised beneficiaries. Impact manifests itself in quantifiable results.”
Monday, November 17, 2008
Enjoy this first-hand account of a visit to Sudan written by Crafts Center (at CHF International) Manager Jennifer Marcy, then check out the beautiful baskets from Darfur:
Basket weaving is a traditional art form in Sudan, like many countries around the world, and CHF has been able to promote this craft and make it economically sustainable for displaced women. When the conflict began there was a lot of demand for handmade products as a result of the influx of nonprofit workers who flooded into the area and needed a gift when they returned home from Africa. But, the local market is now saturated and my job is to increase production of these baskets and coordinate the logistics to get them to the United States, where market demand is high due to the interest of Americans who want to help the people suffering in Darfur. It is difficult to clearly understand how this complex situation in Darfur is going to unfold. What is known is that millions of innocent people are victims of this conflict and are unable to lead a normal life. Life in the camps is tedious and often boring. An elderly weaver told me that in her village they always had something to do, whether it was harvesting crops or tending to her children, her days were full. In the camp, life slowly drifts on, which is why I think CHF’s programs are so important. They allow women and men to learn, create, earn a living and socialize. Life continues on, the next generation of children is born in the camps and only knows life in the confinements of the camp walls. Our hope is that the millions of displaced can one day return to their ancestral village, but for now my job is to help women earn a living so they can send their children to school and buy nutritious food for their family.
CHF International, a non-profit humanitarian relief and international development organization, has been working in Darfur since 2004, managing activities in six camps throughout the vast region that is roughly the size of Spain. With the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, CHF’s programs are designed to help give vulnerable men and women more control over their lives and their futures. Income Generation Activities (IGAs) are one of the most critical interventions implemented by CHF, as they offer communities vital tools that help them survive during the transitional period of displacement that they currently face. Along with IGA activities, CHF is providing shelter in the camps, working to complement food aid by promoting greater self-sufficiency in areas where security allows continued access to land, and is providing health and hygiene classes along with vocational and literacy curriculum.
Check out the baskets from Darfur on our website.