Bad Girl's Guide

Friday, December 08, 2006

Doing a World of Good

The gift-giving industry is an annually 51-billion dollar industry. All this money is going to pockets that are just getting richer and richer instead of to where it really should be going to---the less fortunate. While doing your Christmas shopping this year, how about you put your dollars towards a loftier goal as well?

World of Good is a company dedicated to bringing quality, unique handicrafts to a wider mainstream market. Local artisans all over the world in third world countries design and manufacture every single item by hand. On the website you can find bright, unique gifts ranging from baskets, journals, scarves, jewelry and accessories. Everything is custom made with authentic cultural products and only the finest craftmanship is involved.

No, this isn't some outsourcing scam, or a company that is reaping a huge profit from underprivileged natives---in fact, World of Good is a non-profit organization that incorporates most of it's profit back into the communities and countries where they are doing business with. Last year alone they helped build a school in Guatamala, a water project in Kenya, medical equipment to a clinic in India and a computer lab in South Africa. In addition, they pay 50% of the cost of the product upfront, so the workers don't have to wait for you to purchase the order before they get paid as well as provide market analysis so that artisans can adapt their product to the rapidly changing marketplace.

Think about a woman in Swaziland, India or Venezuela (or one of the other 15 countries that World of Good currently deals with), trying to make ends meet with her large family wondering where she will get money for the next meal. Due to urbanization and development, the decent paying jobs of course need an education that she doesn't have. She starts working with an artisan co-op in her community and is paid fairly the market value for her work. You are enabling her to help herself and her family just by buying a keychain that you would buy anyway from somewhere else. Your dollars are not just getting a gift for your friend/family member, but helping out a whole 'nother family somewhere else in the world, and helping out their community and society as well.

There was an artiisan co-op last year in Guatemala that incorporated their profits from making these handicrafts into renovating a large, abandoned three story building, turning it into their craft shop, with a school downstairs for the children as well as a updated hospital on another floor. Doing that changed the whole block around the vicinity, gradually lifting the neighbourhood from a slum with high crime rates to a thriving business community with a family oriented ideology.

If that's not enough selling points for you, think about it this's our generation that is responsible for social change and this is another way for you to get involved, all from the comfort and security of your computer. HERE and start shopping now!

Your thoughts?

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