Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Fair Trade sale from Minnesota to help Paraguay

We like to plug these whenever we see them.

A fair trade sale is taking place in Minnesota to help people of Paraguay. A village in Paraguay wants to have sinks to wash in. So money raised from this sale in Winona, Minnesota will go to the village, and the Peace Corps volunteers stationed there, to help install sanitation and water.

Also, the fair trade sale sells the goods of craft makers from throughout the world. Goods sold at sales like these help to make sure these people get a decent wage for their work.

The Winona Daily News's Dustin Kass reports on the conditions of the Paraguay village.

Winona Daily News November 4th

Many of Tonya Turben’s neighbors walk half an hour for water, just to fill up a basket that the women can use to wash their family’s laundry, dishes or hands.

Most of their husbands work in nearby fields, toiling long hours for the equivalent of about $5 a day.

Turben helped raise awareness of the concept of fair trade last year as co-director of a Ten Thousand Villages sale in Winona. Now, the Winona State University graduate sees firsthand that paying fair prices for foreign products can help prevent poverty � the kind of poverty she deals with every day as a Peace Corps rural health volunteer in Paraguay. Later this week, local residents can support fair trade and help Turben improve the lives of her South American neighbors by buying items at this year’s sale.

The distance between Winona and the small village where Turben lives can be measured by more than just the miles between them. It can be measured by the luxuries U.S. citizens take for granted � and that those in Paraguay can only dream about.

Turben and her fellow villagers live without running water or indoor plumbing. Most families do not own an oven, so women cook their family’s meals hunched over small fires.

The women of the village recently made getting outdoor sinks a top priority, both for themselves and for the community school. The sinks cost about $15 each, Turben said, and she and the women discussed trying to put some in place before Turben leaves in April 2010.

Organizers of this year’s Ten Thousand Villages sale recently told Turben they will give that effort a huge boost. The third annual event promotes fair trade by featuring products made by artisans from more than 30 different countries, with the product’s creators assured a fair wage for their efforts. Ten percent of this year’s sales will be donated to Turben’s effort to bring sinks to her village. More than $7,800 in merchandise was sold last year.

WHAT: Ten Thousand Villages sale

FEATURES: Handicrafts from all over the world, including scarves, jewelry, stationery, holiday collectables, bracelets, kitchen and home d�cor, toys, games and musical instruments

WHEN: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, noon to 6 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday

WHERE: Student Union in Kryzsko Commons, Winona State University

No comments: