We've gotten several new partners in the past few months, and with our new website roll-out, we can't wait to showcase them all and the incredible work that they're doing!
First up is Haiti's Jewels. Sophie Wiseman-Floyd founded Haiti’s Jewels as a 16-year-old in 2010. She moved to Haiti full-time in 2011 and began training Haitian women to make her designs for the US consumer market. It now employs Haitian artisans (the majority women) who are, for the most part, young struggling parents in need of a stable, hearty income.
Haiti's Jewels offer free training and materials to all of its artisans. It also offers them interest-free loans to help start their own businesses, buy land, and pay for unexpected emergencies.
We've partnered with Haiti's Jewels because 1) they're having a meaningful impact in women's lives and 2) their products are beautiful and well made! We're in love with the Elina necklace and Michel-Ange necklace!
Check 'em out! https://www.wpmarket.org/collections/haitis-jewels
Even better, for every $10 you spend on Haiti's Jewel's products, $7 is reinvested to support their programming for artisans' skills training and access to finance in Haiti.
With the support of Haiti's Jewels and the income earned, their artisans have all invested in land, built homes for their families, paid for their children to attend the best local schools, have money saved for medical and family emergencies, and keep their cabinets stocked with nourishing food for their children, who will one day be running the country.
Welcome to our family Haiti's Jewels!
We are thrilled to announce our newest partner Musana Community Development Organization (Musana). Musana works in Iganda, Uganda in the Eastern part of the country. We first came across Musana in our own backyard of Denver, Colorado. It was founded in 2008 when three American college students (attending The University of Colorado) and two Ugandan college students joined together to provide adequate care, housing, education, and safety to 80 Ugandan children. Six years later, it is an organization committed to equipping Ugandans to be change agents in their own communities and with a continued focus on widows and children, the vast majority of whom are destitute, with little means of support for their dignity, livelihood, or education.
Musana offers its clients a variety of programs, but our favorite (admittedly, biased) is its Women’s Projects. The Women’s Projects currently work in four different villages to teach the women in these villages an employable skill, such as jewelry making, tailoring, or knitting. The women are then paid for the work they complete. These funds help them provide basic necessities for themselves and their families including shelter, food, clothing, and education. Women in its Bwongo village project are also eligible to participate in a microfinance project which includes business training to successfully start and run their own local businesses. Examples of these include brick making, shopkeeping, and milk delivery.
As with all of our partners, Musana is just another great example of an organization working to help women help themselves. Like us at WPMarket, they know that when given the opportunity, these women take off full-steam ahead to create more productive and dignified lives for themselves and their families. Also like us, Musana goes beyond fair and ethical trade: it not only pays each woman a fair wage for her work, thereby increasing her take-home income, but it also equips her with valuable income-generating skills and business training. Additionally, the women are able to work in a healthy environment, interacting and supporting one another. This holistic approach gets at the complex causes of poverty.
We’re excited to have them join us, offering unique and vibrantly-colored products. Shop knowing these goods not only provide valuable income but also fund life-changing programming for women.
At WPMarket, we are on a search. We are searching for products that inspire us with their beauty, their design, and above all else, the greater good that they can achieve. We genuinely believe that we, as consumers, can be a force for change in this world, and we know that we’re not just being idealistic. We have carefully chosen partners that have real, demonstrated impacts from the programming that they are engaged in.
With excitement, we present to you another great organization doing just that: Elolo. Laurie Broomberg started Elolo when she realized the need to support women infected with HIV/AIDS in her community in Cape Town, South Africa. These women were burdened with the stigma associated with their disease and trapped in a vicious cycles of poverty that limited their ability to access the drugs they needed.
Laurie cultivated her passion for beautiful crafts and her entrepreneurial spirit and founded Elolo as a way to help bring these women out of poverty. Elolo provides training to the women who help to craft the beautiful bracelets that we delightfully display at WPMarket. This take home pay has allowed them to build homes, send their children to school, and move beyond being defined by their illness.
Our partners are working every day to impact the lives of the women in their communities. We invite you to be part in the effort and share this journey with us!
“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” ― Robert F. Kennedy
Dana and Rachel