This is Substantial
Never has our mission been so essential and so at risk.
Dear Ten Thousand Villages community,
Ten Thousand Villages has been at the forefront of fair trade and socially responsible business for nearly 75 years. You’ve seen stories of how our artisan partner groups are thriving and empowering makers around the world. You know the life-changing impact our mission, providing a safety net of financial security, has on tens of thousands of marginalized artisans and their families.
Today, we are faced with an unprecedented challenge that threatens our ability to continue our mission. COVID-19 is exacerbating global socio-economic disparities, and now we must ask for your help in a way we haven’t before. Only together can we make sure Ten Thousand Villages serves our artisans today and into the future.
Like many, we’ve been forced to close our stores and lay off valued staff. As disappointing as that reality is, this situation is more substantial than us. We are critical support for tens of thousands of artisans in 30 developing countries. And the grinding halt of the economy means we also lost our main mechanism to carry out our mission and support artisans like Sarita Maharjan (pictured below) and their families.
Sarita Maharjan, mother of two, has always made handcrafts, even helping her mom sew dolls after school. Today she works for Association for Craft Producers in Nepal. “The more orders we receive, the more work we have. We have to travel around when there is not much work. When there is less work, we must leave Kathmandu,” says Maharjan.
The world’s most vulnerable countries, that were already facing economic crisis, must now also battle this public health emergency. For many people in developing countries, where families and extended families live in one home, social distancing is a privilege. Even handwashing is a privilege for those who lack access to clean water.
Our artisan partners work hard to provide their employees with medical care, food, and access to clean water. Without our ability to purchase goods from these groups, they have no work, and risk closure of their businesses as well.
These are challenging times for all of us as quarantine and social distancing are forcing us to adjust. But we are innovative and resilient. Our ability to foster a communal spirit in a time of social distancing is profound.
Only with your support can Ten Thousand Villages provide what