Who are the artisans who benefit from the annual Ten Thousand Villages event that is coming up at Beacon United Church in Yarmouth?
Consider 29-year-old Najmeen of Bangladesh, who works in a workshop that produces recycled sari throws that are sold through Ten Thousand Villages. Before joining the workshop – which is affiliated with Prokritee, a fair-trade organization in her country – she wasn’t making enough money to provide for her family’s basic needs. She has since become financially stable and is able to support her family, including paying for her children’s education.
As they prepare for this year’s Ten Thousand Villages sale in Yarmouth Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, organizers cite Najmeen as an example of how the sale helps artisans in developing countries earn an income by bringing their products here and sharing some of their stories.
A media release promoting this year’s event includes a comment from Najmeen, who describes fair trade as “fair wages with dignity, financial solvency for fulfilling my dreams.”
Her message to Ten Thousand Village customers? “Your purchase gives us employment, dignity, a good social life and ability to support our children to take education.”
This is the 16th year for the Ten Thousand Villages sale in Yarmouth. The event hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 30, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1.
Visitors will find a variety of items, including musical instruments, pottery, jewelry, baskets, toys, crèches and hand-loomed textiles.
Ten Thousand Villages works with artisans who otherwise would be unemployed or underemployed. It works with over 120 different artisan groups in more than 30 countries around the world.
Yarmouth sale organizers Tony and Patty Dorrian say the event gives people in Yarmouth an opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life.
“We’re giving customers in Yarmouth a chance to buy unique products while helping people in developing countries to meet basic needs for themselves and their family.”