Sunday, November 7, 2010

Haitian Artisans find Hope

Empowerment is having vital employment in an impoverished country. Macy's has provided that opportunity for several hundred artisans in Haiti, a country devastated by last January's earthquake and a recent cholera outbreak.

The handmade treasures form a crucial part of the local culture and economy.

The home decor items are available at 25 of Macy's stores, with 22 percent of the price tag going back to Haiti. The program also offers the artisans the opportunity to collaborate with U.S. designers so that the richness of their craftsmanship can continue to prosper.

One popular item is a quilt pattern on a 'Vase of Memories.' The patchwork quilt of life is symbolic of the pattern of life, which has different stages, experiences and friendships put together to form one story.

One craftsman said he has been creating art for 21 years. "This work, the order form Macy's, helps me support my family and it allows me to train and support other young people," he says. "When an artisan creates, it is like a love in your heart."

The fair trade items for sale at Macy's may be seen here. Another store which sells Fair Trade handcrafted items is Ten Thousand Villages. We have a store in my home town and its wares provide many alternative gift ideas. Do you include Fair Trade items from impoverished countries on your holiday shopping list?

Via an article from Good.