To offer communities challenged by poverty the opportunity to create their own change by giving a chance to trade in a Fair and Just manner is an effective way to generate development.
(Sustainable Development Goals and Fairtrade: the case for partnership) (Fair Trade For All: How Trade can Promote Development by Joseph Stiglitz and Andrew Charlton) ('How fair trade can help tackle poverty and bring peace to conflict zones)
The best gift of Fair Trade is Respect and Empowerment.
If the poverty of a society is seen as an opportunity to exploit, that community becomes disabled. To respect and engage with a community is to give pride and empowerment. Agencies that come from the west to solve problems of poverty are so hampered by barriers of culture, language and an impatient timeline, and projects often fail.
To capitalise on communities own creativity, communal culture and entrepreneurship are to allow a group of people to generate and direct their own development from within.
A wonderful example of this empowering is the beautiful jewellery we stock from Ethiopia. The jewellery beads are made from a machine gun casing metal that shepherds find during their work in the hills. Unfortunately, there are great quantities of this metal in Ethiopia, as souvenirs of long years of conflict with Eritrea. A group of highly disadvantaged women purchase this metal from shepherds, and transform the casings into designer jewellery, called ‘Bullets to Beauty’. Income from this jewellery gives these amazing and courageous women a fair and sustaining wage.
A wage brings the opportunity to educate your children and provide access to medical care and a safe home, and as the business grows, becomes enough to enable these mothers to bring well-being and independence to their families!
Fairtrade is relationship based, and I have loved slowly building a relationship with these women all the way on the other side of the world, as our lives interconnect through enterprise.
As you wear a piece of stunning Bullets to Beauty jewellery you share this hope for a future that enables poor communities to not only survive but thrive.
As we build these relationships between communities, we are able to reimagine what the world could be like, person by person, family by family.
I love Fair Trade because it builds on skills, hopes and abilities, and brings life to disadvantaged and vulnerable groups like the strong and amazing Bullets to Beauty women of Ethiopia who take a discarded metal and use it to build hope and dreams, making a new reality. and a renewed community.