Hello Fellow Fair Trade Enthusiasts

Hi!

We’ll be getting pretty well acquainted these next few months, so let me briefly introduce myself:

I’m Daniela, the lucky new Social Media Intern for Ten Thousand Villages of Austin. I’m a third-year International Relations and Global Studies student at the University of Texas graduating in 2015 (hopefully!). I have decided to intern here for two important reasons 1) I’m a millennial who cannot get enough social media (I ask: can anyone really truly ever get enough social media?) and 2) I feel the best use of my time is in helping impoverished communities worldwide develop. I know this is my future because despite my fortunate upbringing in the Good Ol’ USA, my childhood years were spent in a far different reality.

I was born, and lived for ten years, in the beautiful Lima, Peru. Peru, while breathtaking, isn’t the wealthiest South American country. There is a devastating amount of inequality and poverty, overwhelmingly within the indigenous population of Peru (and worldwide in general). The reality you see everyday is of a struggling artisan selling their crafts on the streets of Peru. These artisans are barely making enough to survive and support their families while selling their products to the local middle-class and tourists.  It is very difficult for them to make a decent living.

Now, this is all entirely out of sight and forgotten in the manicured Texan streets where I later grew up. I’ve never worried about the artisans struggling to make ends meet. It’s easy not to know about those too far away to see their struggle. But it’s important to take notice and remember – 62% of people in Rwanda are living on $1.25 a day, only 49% of rural Haitians have access to water, and only 64% of women in Madagascar are literate. It’s up to those of us who are able to, to do something. 

Fortunately there are fair trade organizations, like Ten Thousand Villages, which make it easy (and fun!) to help. So easy and fun that all we have to do is shop! All we have to do is choose to buy goods from an organization which actively works to better the lives of those impoverished worldwide by through fair trade practices. It’s important to me that my time and money be spent in a way which will better the world whenever possible and to the best of my abilities. And I hope that over the next few months this can become an important goal for all of us.

Best Wishes,

Daniela Lam

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