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The life-changing journey for artisans and the beginning of A FAIR TRADE WORLD, a non-profit Virginia organization, began when Linda traveled iwith her daughter to Uganda. They met with and interviewed artisans for Linda’s Associate Fulbright doctorate study on sustainability and Fair Trade.

The season was winter 2007. Dr. Emily Spivak, a physician of Infectious Disease at Johns Hopkins Medical Institute and daughter of the founder Linda Edwards, PhD, went to Kampala, Uganda to work in a HIV clinic.

Linda visited her daughter and ended up volunteering in several Uganda non-profits. While Emily worked in an HIV/AIDS hospital, she met a lady with a special bead-making talent. Josephine asked Emily to look at her Recycled Paper Jewelry.

That same evening the lady came to show Emily and Linda her bracelets and necklaces that she had made of recycled paper. They bought all of the crafts that the artisan brought to the guesthouse.

They decided to help other women who made Recycled Paper Jewelry. The jewelry sales make it the artisans to provide medical care for their children, send them to school full-time, buy their required school uniforms and materials, have more nutritious food, and an improved quality of life.

In the clinics the children came with their parents to the clinic, for some of them also have AIDS. More often than not there is a big sister or brother who brings the children to the clinic. The children always seemed to be very happy to be at the clinic. At this Kampala town clinic the children sometimes wait all day for their turn at the clinic. The pediatric clinic is open every day and the children come once or more a month to receive their AIDS medicine.

Uganda is a country torn apart by civil war, particularly in the north. The women who have learned to make these fashionable and beads of many colors have gained self-sufficiency in their lives. The bead sales create an independence that they have never known. We offer the women lessons in entrepreneurship, learning about style, marketing, shipping and the computer.

When Linda met the female artisans of the National Association of Women Organizations in Uganda, she was impressed with the ladies inquisitiveness and eagerness to learn about building their own business and selling their products internationally.

Since the eradication of poverty is the goal of Fair Trade buying, A FAIR TRADE WORLD hopes that their artisans will reach a sustainable level of living and that with their children’s education finally enables prosperity in these families.

YOU CAN HELP. Please get in touch with us to share in the mission. You can make a difference too.

Thank you, Linda