Friday, November 7, 2014

Fair Trade Friday: Box #1

So, if you've been reading my blog you already know that I love Mercy House Kenya! Did you know that there is a new ministry of Mercy House Kenya? It's called Fair Trade Friday!

Why does Fair Trade Friday exist? "Fair Trade Friday exists as an avenue for women to empower women.  We are tackling poverty through job opportunity and empowerment rather than enablement. 100% of the proceeds support the artisans, more than 300 women and their children from all over the world."

So, what's Fair Trade Friday? "FTF is a monthly membership club that delivers a box of 3-4 high quality items to your door by the first Friday of the month. The items in the box are fairly traded and provide employment to women all over the world. 100% of the proceeds from each box goes to the empowerment of impoverished women. Plus, they are really cute!"

Why does fair trade matter? "It ensures club products were made by artisans in fair working conditions who were being paid a fair wage. Basically, no child gave up his education, home and family to labor in a sweat shop so that your calves can be toasty in a pair of trendy boot cuffs. You can give gifts of handcrafted jewelry and unique home decor with a clear conscience. People say it’s the thought behind the gift that counts most. In this case, we’ve done some of that thinking for you."

I've been to other countries where women are a step above the livestock. I have a passion to see women know their worth and value in Christ. Fair Trade Friday helps women around the world work and earn an income to care for their families. This way they get to keep their dignity.
I love that FTF exists for women to empower other women around the world. 

So I ordered a box and then tried to wait- patiently. 

And then this happened. 

In every box there are 3-4 unique fair trade items, a one-of-a-kind handmade bag, and product cards with information about each of the fair trade items and the artisans who made them. 

This bag was the first item in my box. It is handmade in Costa Rica by Mercy CoversMercy Covers is an outreach of the St. Bryce Missions that provides skills training, personal finance management, education, discipleship, and meaningful work for women in rural Costa Rica.

Next was a fabric keychain that was made in Rajpur, India by JOYN. At the heart of JOYN lies a desire to see lives changed. To see those crippled by poverty and hardship dance for joy. To do this, JOYN has partnered with a nonprofit called JoyCorps to provide employees with not only steady jobs and a good work environment, but a daily meal plan, education for their children, English and vocational training, and medical care. Lives are changing as a result. JOYN continues to sell beautiful products handmade by artisans who do 100 percent of the work, from weaving to block printing to stitching. This brings JOY to those who make the products, and JOY to those who buy them.

Then, kid's boot cuffs made by the Refugee Project in Houston, Texas. The United Nations has relocated more than 50,000 refugees to Houston, Texas, due to religious and ethnic persecution. The Refugee Project exists to empower refugee women by teaching them skills and product creation.

My favorite item are these earrings made in Nairobi, Kenya by the Jacaranda WorkshopThe Jacaranda Workshop was started in 1982 to provide training and employment to mentally handicapped adults graduating from the Jacaranda Special School. To date, the workshop has successfully managed to train and employ over 60 ex-jacaranda school graduates and assisted them to improve their self-esteem. The workshop seeks to provide employment to those who may find it difficult to find employment elsewhere.

Last, but not least was this burlap bag by Mission Ethiopia. I love that this bag is lined with black satin. Korah, the city garbage dump just outside Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, is home to more than 120,000 people living in poverty, many with HIV/AIDS, leprosy, TB and other diseases. Mission Ethiopia, Embracing Hope for Ethiopia, and Carry 117 are a few of the many outreach efforts that were established to empower residents of this community, freeing them from a life of begging and scavenging the trash for items to sell.

I loved all the items in my box! I especially loved that the items represented women on three different continents! One box held items from Costa Rica, India, refugees from Burma, Bhutan, Nepal, and Thailand in Texas, Kenya, and Ethiopia! 

Each item reminds me to pray for the artist who created it! Would you pray with me?

Visit the Fair Trade Friday website above for more information on getting your own FTF box! Can't wait to see what you get! Another reason to love Friday! Thanks for loving mercy with me!

In His Love, 

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