Shopping for a Change®, a web-based non-profit organization, is a fair trade marketplace where artisans, predominantly women from developing countries, sell their handmade creations, enabling them to earn a sustainable income and lift themselves from poverty. Our net proceeds subsidize community improvement projects abroad as well as help fund select U.S.-based charities.
Our aim is To create an extended global marketplace for fair trade products made by artisans, artisan co-ops, and companies that these employ artisans, predominantly females, from economically disadvantaged areas throughout the world. This model will provide them with a sustainable income to support their families thereby raising the artisans' standards of living. To direct half the net proceeds back to artisan communities to fund improvement projects in areas that may include education, health care, and clean water. To allow the customer to direct the other half of the net proceeds from their purchases to a partner charitable organization of their choice. To promote volunteer action in local communities, nationally and abroad. Shopping for a Change®, launched September 19, 2010, following almost two years of development, has seen the realization of our goals for 2011 - including the completion of our first community improvement project directed at enhancing the lives of one of our artisan communities. In a joint effort with Unicef, Water Gives Life, and Gone Rural, we recently installed a complete water system to provide clean drinking water to a remote homestead in the mountains of Swaziland, Africa. For 2012, our focus is on our next community improvement project: to fund teachers at the Enkutoto-Englata-Enterit Group Ranch in Kenya. With the help of Katy and Philip Leakey, founders of The Leakey Collection, and their nonprofit organization Trust for Rural African Development and Enterprise (T.R.A.D.E.), the student teacher ratio in the area has been lowered from 80:1 to 35:1. Currently out of the 23 teachers employed, The Leakey Collection directly funds 9 of them. This year, Shopping for a Change® will use your purchases to provide a year's salary for one teacher.
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