Posts filed under ‘Causes’
One of the core elements that we sign up to as Fair Traders is to cultivate environmental stewardship. “Fair Trade seeks to offer current generations the ability to meet their needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Members actively consider the implications of their decisions on the environment and promote the responsible stewardship of resources. Members reduce, reuse, reclaim, and recycle materials wherever possible. They encourage environmentally sustainable practices throughout the entire trading chain.” (Fair Trade Federation)
Environmental stewardship is just as important to us at home, and we are always keen to support the many local groups that work so hard to protect what we have and/or restore what we have lost.
So we are excited this month to be working with the Missouri Prairie Foundation.
The mission of the Missouri Prairie Foundation is to protect and restore prairie and other native grassland communities through acquisition, management, education, and research. For 44 years, this nonprofit organization has advocated for prairie conservation. Its advocacy has played a significant role in the purchase of prairie by the Missouri Department of Conservation from the 1970s to the present, as well as the Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ purchase of Prairie State Parks.
The Missouri Prairie Foundation currently owns 2,400 acres of high quality native grassland throughout the state and manages an additional 1,500 acres in cooperation with public partners and private landowners. It also participates in conservation decision-making with other state leaders. At least 15 million acres of Missouri, covering more than a third of the state, were prairie at the time of European settlement. Fewer than 90,000 acres remain. Tallgrass prairie is one of the Earth’s most biologically diverse and now rare ecosystems, and we have it right here in Missouri. It is ours to conserve for the benefit of future generations.
So here’s what we have planned with the Missouri Prairie Foundation for August:
August 6 to 31: An exhibition featuring the photographs of Glenn Chambers (more about Glenn in a future post).
August 6th: First Friday Art Walk – showcasing Glenn’s photography and raising funds for the MPF at the same time. 10% of all sales on the night will go to the MPF!
August 1 to 31: Fund raising with MPF members – all members purchasing in the store during August (or in our online store) will do so knowing that 10% of their purchases will go directly back to the Foundation.
Who is Team World Vision Ozarks?
Team World Vision Ozarks is a local marathon team that trains to run the Chicago Marathon in 2010. The group raises funds locally for clean water in Africa.
How your donations go to work?
TWVO is a sub group of Team World Vision in Chicago IL. In Chicago they will meet up with a 1000 other runners that share the same passion for Africa. The funds Team World Vision Ozarks raises go directly to World Vision Organization. World Vision is a Christian Humanitarian group that that helps poverty stricken countries around the world for more information visit www.worldvision.org. In the past years, Team World Vision has raised close to two million dollars. Team World Vision Ozarks has raised close to 30,000 in the past two years. World vision has taken the money raised and works in Zambia, Africa to build water wells which service 600-900 women and children in a village. World Vision has also built medical clinics in the same region. This year Team World Vision’s focus is now in Kenya, Africa because their need for clean water is greatest.
How your Team World Vision Ozarks raises funds?
The group raises funds in various ways:
- Child Sponsorship- They will have sponsorship packets available at Global Fayre on April 2nd from 6:15-9:45pm. When a child is sponsored you directly make a connection to the Kenya community. You will receive information about your child; receive a progress letter, and child communication every few months for a small monthly fee of $35. Our team in return will receive a credit of $420 for your sponsorship of the child.
- On April 2nd Team World Vision Ozarks will be hosting an Urban Orienteering Challenge called Time Talent and Treasure. The race consists of a $10 per person registration fee and forms can be found on our blog spot www.twvozarks.blogspot.com or at www.omrr.org. under events. The group will have a sponsorship table inside Global Fayre and outside in the patio area on the corner of Walnut and Campbell St.
- The group will also take cash donations as well. Global Fayre will also donate $1 for every purchase made in the store during the evening.
On Earth Hour hundreds of millions of people, organizations, corporations and governments around the world will come together to make a bold statement about their concern for climate change by doing something quite simple—turning off their lights for one hour. In the U.S. where we are already feeling the impacts of climate change, Earth Hour sends a clear message that Americans care about this issue and want to turn the lights out on dirty air, dangerous dependency on foreign oil and costly climate change impacts, and make the switch to cleaner air, a strong economic future and a more secure nation.
Participation is easy. By flipping off your lights on March 27th at 8:30 p.m. local time you will be making the switch to a cleaner, more secure nation and prosperous America. View the toolkits, to find out what else you can do to get involved including leading the Earth Hour movement in your community.
Set Your Clock
On Saturday, March 27, 2010 at 8:30 p.m. local time, Earth Hour will once again cascade around the globe, from New Zealand to Hawaii
Sparking a Movement
Since its inception three years ago, Earth Hour’s non-partisan approach has captured the world’s imagination and became a global phenomenon. Nearly one billion people turned out for Earth Hour 2009 – involving 4,100 cities in 87 countries on seven continents.
Last year, 80 million Americans and 318 U.S. cities officially voted for action with their light switch, joining iconic landmarks from around the world that went dark for Earth Hour, including:
- Empire State Building
- Brooklyn Bridge
- Broadway Theater Marquees
- Las Vegas Strip
- United Nations Headquarters
- Golden Gate Bridge
- Seattle’s Space Needle
- Church of Latter-Day Saints Temple
- Gateway Arch in St. Louis
- Great Pyramids of Giza
- Acropolis and Parthenon in Athens
- Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio de Janeiro
- St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City
- Big Ben and Houses of Parliament in London
- Elysee Palace and Eiffel Tower in Paris
- Beijing’s Birds Nest and Water Cube
- Symphony of Lights in Hong Kong
- Sydney’s Opera House
Recent events in Haiti has prompted Global Fayre to step up its level of commitment to the artisans of that country (we talked previously about the need for sustained support in the long term as well as short term crisis relief).
As a result of our search for new sources, we came across Caribbean Craft.
Based in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Caribbean Craft was founded in 1990 by young Dutch and Belgian entrepreneurs who wanted to address Haiti’s high unemployment with artisan training, design assistance and new export market outlets. In 2006 Caribbean Craft became a Haitian women owned company.
They encourage their artisans to work in a sustainable way with recycled products. As you would expect, a large part of their output is concentrated on the highly original and internationally renowned “oil drum art”, made from recycled steel drums. They also use paper maché made from empty cement bags and starch made from locally grown, renewable arrowroot to create beautiful and festive ornaments, money or “piggy” banks, serving trays, and other useful creations. They even produce their own glue from the starch of locally grown manioc and use plastic bottles and gallon containers.
Prior to the January earthquake, Caribbean Craft employed over 300 people in Port-au-Prince and another 200 artisans in the regions. The earthquake rendered their rented premises too dangerous to use, leaving these 500 artisans on the street (literally, in many cases, with their houses also being destroyed).
Far from being knocked back by this, Caribbean Craft quickly responded by putting together a short term plan to get their people back to work as quickly as possible, as well as a longer term plan to build their own facility capable of withstanding future earthquakes.
You can read the whole plan here.
We got our first consignment of products from Caribbean Craft last week. The pieces are beautiful, and response to them has been great!
Here are a few examples:
We’ve been delighted to play a small part in a project by the After School Artists at Wilard South Elementary.
The images below are just some of the pins and magnets that the kids have made to help people in Haiti who have lost their homes.
Materials for the project were donated by National Art Shop and Lowes, and 100% of the $3 for each piece goes to the people of Haiti.
They are available at Global Fayre – but hurry, they’re going fast!
It’s heart warming to see the contribution being made by so many people to the relief effort for Haiti.
A concern, of course, is what happens after the media attention switches to another story, when the relief agencies have another crisis to rush….when people just forget and move on.
That’s why Fair Trade is so critical. Fair Trade is not about short-term fixes and fire-fighting (important though those things are); Fair Trade IS about empowering communities to make a difference in the long term, to break their cycle of poverty.
At Global Fayre we don’t have many products from Haiti, but what we do have is simply stunning, especially the oil drum wall art. The cut metal ironwork from Croix des Bouquets, a small village outside of Port-au-Prince is one of Haiti’s most original art forms. In the early 1930s Georges Liautaud formed imaginative cemetery crosses from recycled metal cut from oil drums. An artistic tradition has grown from those humble beginnings and now the village has become a center for this art, with more than 60 workshops.
Cut metal artisans cut open 55-gallon drums, hammer them flat, and then mark designs on the black metal with chalk. Using a hammer and chisel, they pound and cut through the metal to make designs. Some are left black, others are painted with bright colors.
We source our oil drum wall art from the Haitian Committee of Artisans (CAH). Since 1972, the nonprofit CAH has marketed and exported crafts made by Haitian artisans, cooperatives and craft groups. The craftspeople whose work CAH promotes have organized themselves in a variety of ways. Some are cooperative associations, some are family workshops and some are independent artisans; all depend on the efforts of CAH to market their handicrafts for a fair wage. In 1999 CAH became part of the “Fondation pour le Developpement de l’Artisanat Haitien.” CAH provides marketing and promotional expertise, other sections provide training for artisans and reference resources on handicrafts.
Here’s just a few examples:
These pieces are available in our store at 324 S Campbell, Springfield, MO and online at http://www.globalfayre.com.
You’ll find the Haiti pieces here.
20% of the proceeds from these beautiful works of art is being contributed to relief agencies working in Haiti.
We’re always excited to reach the point of making another Kiva loan. Of course Haiti is heavy on our minds at the moment – all the more reason to get excited about being able to make another micro-loan. These loans are making a substantial long-term difference to the borrowers and their community.
Our newest loan is to Benita Lopez and her group.
Benita Lopez is from the village of Villa Concepcion, Cauayan City, Isabela. She is 52 years old. Benita is the group leader of a fifteen-member group loan offered by ASKI. While each member of the group receives an individual loan, they are all collectively responsible for paying back the loans of their fellow group members if someone is delinquent or defaults.
Benita is married and has two adult children. She owns and operates a business selling bananas and vegetables. She has been engaged in her business for over twenty-six years and earns approximately 1,000 PHP a week.
In 2008, Benita joined ASKI to gain access to financial services to help improve her living situation and her ability to engage in business activities. She is requesting a new loan of 20,000 PHP which will be used to purchase more products to sell. This loan will be her fourth from ASKI. She plans to use the additional revenue generated from the business to improve and expand her business.
ASKI is one of the most successful microfinance institutions in the Philippines. It has twenty-one branches covering the Central and Northeastern areas. Its clients are mostly of farmers, fisherfolk and small entrepreneurs.