October 31, 2007

Check us out in Travel + Leisure

Or, rather, check out our Kenyan Beaded Bowls & Boxes from the talented Samburu tribe in Northern Kenya.

The article, called Women At Work, details one journalist's trip to four women's collectives, one of which is a visit to the Samburu at the Ol Malo Lodge in North Kenya. The article doesn't specifically mention One World Projects, but by showcasing our non-profit partner, we believe it's doing good by increasing awareness of a worthy project.

Get your copy today!

October 29, 2007

Earthquake Assessment:PERU

One World Projects’ CEO and founder Phil Smith just returned from Chincha and Pisco, Peru, two of the cities hit hardest by the August 15 earthquake. He was there to assess the damage done to our artisans and workshops, and find the best ways to help the 100,000 people left homeless in the region.

Phil reports that both cities look like a war zones, and the most notable landmarks in each are straw mats have been folded together to create faux huts. In Chincha, Smith booked the last hotel room in town, literally. “One-third of the buildings were standing, one-third were marked with a large X, meaning they were condemned, and one-third were destroyed.” All that is left of Pisco’s central cathedral is four walls amidst of a pile of rubble, a horrific reminder of the nearly 300 people who were buried while attending mass on that fateful Sunday evening.

There are several relief organizations working on the ground, such as Mercy Corps, Oxfam America and CARE. One World Projects has chosen to work with a local group called Manos Amigas (hands joined in friendship), a nonprofit organization that works with individual workshops, groups and associations in Lima and in the Andean highlands to provide training in accounting, business administration, costing, and design, as well as the packaging and shipping of the products. Our donation will help earthquake victims in Huancavelica, one of the poorest villages in Peru, and one that sits a bit further from the coast, and the center of the relief efforts.

Says Smith, “It will be a long time before these people are able to rebuild, and they can’t afford to do it alone.” You can help, either by making a direct donation to one of the organizations listed below, or by shopping for Peruvian products at One World Projects.

Please click below to make a direct donation to one of the relief organizations working on the ground in Peru:

Mercy Corps

Oxfam America


Best regards,

The Team at One World Projects

October 22, 2007

A Report from the Field: Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Liz Wald, founder of our partner company Economic Development Imports, will be writing from Bishkek Kyrgyzstan for the next week, where she's giving a workshop to potential exporters on how to work with the U.S. market. The workshop is sponsored by the Central Eurasian Leadership Academy (CELA) and brings together artisans from Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. (Kyrgyzstan is west of China, North of India and Northeast of Afghanistan, just in case you weren't sure!)

This region is known for anything and everything felt and embroidered - from hats to clothes to change purses.

Liz, who is responsible for many of the African products sold on our site, commented that Central Asia is similar to Africa in the sense that every country is landlocked and has its own export laws. She also notes that the people are very proud and do not like discuss their troubles. "This issue arose when I asked about the ‘stories” behind the products or workshops, i.e., do they support women in some way or help the sick or needy or anything along these lines. Their response was “is this important?” Even getting them to elaborate on the history of a product or the design tradition is proving difficult. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that marketing is not a strong suit of former Soviet Republics.”

We don't know if we'll carry product from this region or not, but we wanted to inform you of Liz's trip, as One World Projects and its partners often travel in search of new artisan groups who share our vision: to help artisans in some of the world's poorest countries improve their lives and communities through fair trade, and in an environmentally- and socially-responsible manner.

Check out Liz's blog for a full report!

October 21, 2007

Samburu Feature in PLANET Magazine

Issue seventeen of Planet magazine features a lovely photo article of the Samburu tribe from Kenya. This is the same tribe that creates our Kenyan beaded bowls and boxes. The sales from these products are reinvested back into community to help fund medical clinics, schools and art centers for one of our planet's last indigenous tribes.

October 19, 2007

Why We Love Bill Gates (and Africa does too)

Instead of spending his mornings surfing the net on his Microsoft-enabled laptop, while sipping a latte hand-delivered from Seattle’s Best, billionaire Bill Gates is giving hundreds of millions of dollars to malaria vaccine and treatment programs, according to an article published in the BBC on Wednesday.

Speaking in Seattle to a meeting of 300 scientists and policymakers, Gates called on global leaders to embrace “an audacious goal - to reach a day when no human being has malaria, and no mosquito on earth is carrying it."

"We will not stop working until malaria is eradicated."

Maybe Microsoft isn’t all bad.

The article also showed positive first results of an anti-malaria vaccination in a small group involving 214 infants in Mozambique. Although it’s still early, the treatment appeared to a success: after three months infants who'd received it were 65% less likely to contract malaria than a control group.

Another way you can help is by supporting artisans in Mali who are producing tin angels and santas from used mosquito pesticide cans to spread the word about this 100% preventable disease. With one malaria-related death every 30 seconds in Africa, we don’t have half-a-minute to lose.

To read the entire article, please click here.

October 17, 2007

Can Gender Equality Put an End to Poverty?

Today is UN World Poverty Day, and although it's not really one of those happy holidays, it's is still a positive event, if you really think about it. Awareness is often the first step in making a difference. Take Gore, for example. Years ago he was mocked when he first brought up the topic of global warming. But he kept pressing the issue, and pushing buttons. Finally people started to listen, movies were made, books were written, and he even won a Nobel Peace prize. Turns out he was just ahead of his time.

But back to World Poverty Day. In 2000, as part of the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs), world leaders pledged to cut poverty by half by 2015. Yet we're already in 2007, halfway to the deadline, and it's clear many countries aren't going to make the cut — unless there is radical change.

We think our sister company EDImports has the right idea. By focusing on women as economic drivers, founder Liz Wald has seen children educated, homes built, medicines purchased, and behind it all, self-esteem nourished as women step up to provide for their family and local economy.

The Economist called women “the most powerful engine” of global economic growth, and estimates that within the past decade, women have contributed more to global economy than the entire country of China. For more information, browse through this list of facts and figures to really see how gender equality can lead to economic growth.

Who said women should stay at home? Wasn't us.

October 15, 2007

Fair Trade Is Real

Today is National Blog Day, and we figured it's a good time for us to join Technorati. As you know, One World Projects is new to the blogosphere, but we've 'jumped on the bandwagon' to show you how your fair trade purchases are really making a difference to artisans from some of the world's poorest countries.

Each time we go on a buying trip to meet our artisans or hear someone tell us a story about how fair trade has helped their town finance a school, we are reminded why we work here. So we've started this blog so you can also see fair trade in action. It's real, and its makes a real difference. We're halfway through National Fair Trade month, we hope you'll continue to consider fair trade even after the next two weeks have passed.

We love our jobs and seeing fair trade first-hand, and know you will to! Please tell your friends and family about us. Thanks for your support!

The Team at One World Projects
Technorati Profile

October 12, 2007

And the Nobel Peace Prize Goes to... Climate Change

Former Vice President Al Gore and the U.N. climate panel were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize today for their role in bringing global warming into the international spotlight.

According to an article on the front page of The New York Times, Gore and the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) won "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change", said the Norwegian Nobel Committee.

Their prize for saving our planet? $1.5 million greenbacks.

Gore says he will donate his half to the Alliance for Climate Protection, a bipartisan nonprofit organization that is devoted to changing public opinion worldwide about the urgency of solving the climate crisis.

As Gore said Friday, “global warming is the most dangerous challenge facing humanity and it's time to step up awareness of the threat. It truly is a planetary emergency and we have to respond."

You can help spread the word by donning earth-friendly goods, such as jewelry made from tagua nut, a renewable rainforest product that feels like ivory but is really animal-friendly, or a magazine rack that's been handmade from banana bark in Northern Rwanda's Virunga mountains, the same place Liz got cozy with this endangered mountain gorilla and her baby.

October 7, 2007

A Report from the Field: Peruvian Gift Show 2007

This trip got off to an exciting start as the cockpit of our plane shattered during taking-off from Miami International Airport. After circling for an hour it was decided not to dump fuel but rather to make an abnormally high-speed landing; necessary because of the extra weight caused by the fuel-laden plane. We landed without incident and were welcomed by an entourage of 9 emergency vehicles that chased us down the runway. After changing aircraft we arrived in Lima early Thursday morning (October 4th) after a delay of 6 hours.

The first two days have been focused on the 9th Annual Peruvian Gift Show, and reconnecting with our existing artisan groups and searching for new partners that share our commitment to high-quality artisan crafts and social and environmental-responsibility.

This year, Peru is all about the gourds, and we've picked up some new designs - Red Santas, Snowmen and Penguins, and many others (not shown in this blog) - to complete our unique collection. For more information on the gourd-making process, or to peruse our complete line of boxes, birdhouses, baskets, gourd cats and dogs, and musical instruments, all handcarved in Peru, please visit One World Projects.

Materials will be in our warehouse by the end of October or early November. My next note will introduce two new suppliers; one making baskets from toquilla fiber and the other producing handmade-paper crafts from recycled-paper and plants.

We appreciate your support, and thanks for reading!

October 4, 2007

Being Green is a Beautiful Thing:One World Projects applauds the Emerald City’s First-ever “Green” Fashion Week

Attention, Seattlites! Got $50 bucks? Perfect. That’s your ticket to this Saturday’s runway show on Pier 66, which will feature specialty pieces from Diane von Furstenberg, Heatherette and Oscar de la Renta. (Admission into the after-party is also included). Proceeds from Green Fashion Week will benefit Earth Pledge, a nonprofit organization dedicated to green initiatives.

If you don’t live in Seattle, don’t despair. One World Projects has a huge selection of eco-chic designs to sate your inner eco-fashionista, such as handwoven shawls that support Burmese women living in refugee on the Thai-Burma border, or funky bracelets from a fair trade artisan workshop in Colombia established to provide much needed jobs to Colombian youth. Check us out at One World Projects.

And just in case you haven’t heard, today is World Animal Day. Whether you choose to celebrate your favorite pooch or feline, or support animal-friendly practices in the Amazon (or both!), our assortment of Tagua Nut products could be right up your alley.

October 1, 2007

Fair Trade vs. Free Trade

Things to do Monday morning:
  1. Drive kids to school.
  2. Remind husband to take out trash.
  3. Get coffee for the boss.
  4. Rally against neo-liberal trade policies that will harm people, animals and the environment in Peru.
Bill Moyer’s Journal will be covering the Free Trade protests this Monday, October 1 at 9:00 AM outside the Upper West Side office of New York Congressman Charles Rangel, Congress' strongest and most influential supporter of the Peru Free Trade Agreement.

The proposed Free Trade agreement will destroy Amazon rainforests; expand inhumane, polluting factory farm agriculture; limit access to AIDS drugs; displace family farmers, leading to increased cocaine production and forced migration; undermine labor organizing; and set the precedent for pending trade deals with Panama, Colombia, and South Korea.

Ironically, today also kicks off National Fair Trade Month.

A Congressional vote is planned for early October, so we must voice our opinions NOW. Charlie Rangel's Office is located at the Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building, 163 West 125th Street at 7th Avenue (A ,C, B or D trains to 125 and walk 2 blocks east) Additional info: (347) 905-7334 or info@tradejustice.net.

Sponsored by the NYC People's Referendum on Free Trade. http://www.tradejustice.net/