Ten Thousand Villages Fair Trade Sale
October 24, 2014
Simply Beautiful, Simply Fair! The Friends of Ten Thousand Villages-Annapolis Valley/Kentville are making a difference in the lives of artisans around the world by selling exquisite, handcrafted gifts and home décor. The event, to be held at Kentville Fire Hall offers an opportunity for citizens of Kentville and visitors to make a difference by shopping fair trade. Shoppers will also learn more about skilled artisans in Africa, Asia and Latin America. In its 7th year the sale will showcase a beautiful assortment of musical instruments, pottery, jewelry, baskets, toys, crèches and hand loomed textiles.
Shop the sale on Friday October 24 from 12 noon to 8:00 PM and Saturday October 25 from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM.
The story of one woman’s journey from poverty to independence in Bangladesh
As a sixteen year old girl, Bella was married off in order to lighten the financial burden on her parents. After only three years of marriage, her husband left her and her infant son to fend for themselves. With not a cent to her name and a child to provide for, Bella resorted to begging on the streets in Bangladesh. One day, she saw a neighbour wearing a new sari walking towards the center of town. “Where are you going in such a hurry?” she had asked. “And how did you afford such beautiful new clothes?” Her friend smiled and said that there was work in paper-making at a place called Biborton (a workshop of Prokritee). She invited Bella to come along and have an interview with Papri, the manager of the paper-making workshop. Bella was reluctant to go because she was a poor beggar woman with no education and no job training. Who would ever want to hire her?
When Bella arrived at Biborton, she met Papri, the manager and sat down for a job interview. After a bit of small talk, Papri said she had three questions for Bella: Can you read and write? Have you ever had a paying job? If times get tough, do you have relatives or friends who will let you move in until times get better? Bella answered no to all of the questions. She had never attended school and couldn’t even write her own name. When her signature was required she put down her thumb print. To Bella’s great surprise, Papri reached out her hand and told Bella that she could start working at Biborton that same day. Her son, Shodesh, was taken to the onsite day care center and Bella started training in making handmade paper. Bella started working at Biborton in 1996 when her son, Shodesh, was only two years old.
Today, she heads a work group that produces finished products like notebooks, journals and decorative paper boxes that are sold to Ten Thousand Villages and many other Biborton customers around the world. Bella, has learned to read and write at the Biborton after-work education program. Bella also took advantage of the savings and loan program at Biborton and was able to buy a small plot of land and build a new house for herself and Shodesh. Probably the biggest sign of success for Bella is that Shodesh has graduated from high school, completed an electrician apprenticeship and now owns his own small electrician business in Agailjhara. Ten Thousand Villages works with artisans who would otherwise be unemployed, or underemployed. We create opportunities for artisans in developing countries to earn an income by bringing their products and stories to our markets in North America.
This income helps pay for food, education, health care, and housing. Ten Thousand Villages works with over 120 different artisans groups from more than 30 countries across the globe. “By holding this sale, we’re giving customers in Kentville, NS a chance to buy unique products while helping people in developing countries to meet basic needs for themselves and their family. Together we are making a difference,” says Kim O’Connor, sale organizer.
Bella would be happy to announce that the Friends of Ten Thousand Villages-Annapolis Valley/Kentville is hosting a Ten Thousand Villages Festival Sale at Kentville Fire Hall, 463 Main St Kentville on Friday, October 24 from 12 Noon to 8:00 PM and Saturday, October 25 from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. All proceeds of the sale support artisans partnered with Ten Thousand Villages, the oldest and largest Fair Trade Organization in North America, (over 60 years). The sale owes its success to dedicated local volunteers.