WorldCrafts began when one woman decided to help women in Thailand escape prostitution. She was determined to make a lasting impact on their lives and homes, and because of this several hundred women in Thailand are now receiving fair wages, have food and shelter, and are sending their children to school.
Not long after WorldCrafts was started the founders decided to abide by fair trade principles. Fair trade is a commitment to provide fair wages and sustainable income, and give the poor a voice in the marketplace.
Children at St. Brendan’s School in Lanarkshire, UK, recently wrote poems about fair trade. One student, Collette Wilson wrote:
Change today, choose Fairtrade
Look at the difference it has already made
I am very lucky I have a bed
But poor children sleep on the floor instead
I don’t want things to be this way
So make a difference to their day
So every time you go to the shop
Always look for the green and blue spot.
October is Fair Trade Month and a great time to reflect on the life situation for millions of people. Fair Trade is about assisting people in a way that allows them to be free to pursue their hopes and dreams. Fair trade isn’t a hand out but a hand up. Fair trade is giving people dignity.
Through your support of fair trade products, you can “make a difference to their day” as Colette’s poem suggests. A brief glimpse at some global facts are also a reminder that poverty creates desperation, oppression, and exploitation.
- 1.4 billion – estimated number of people in the world existing on less than $1.25 / day.
- 2.7 billion – estimated number of people in the world existing on less than $2 / day.
- 284,000 – number of children in the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon working in hazardous tasks on conventional cocoa farms.
- 15,000 – number of children aged 9 to 12 in the Ivory Coast alone who have been sold into forced labor on conventional cotton, coffee, and cocoa plantations.
With football season upon us, the playoffs as we anticipate the World Series, Holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner, it is easy to get distracted and forget how easy it is for us to help the poor, to help families stay together, and to give children hope.