Photo by WE Centers Uganda
I enjoy sewing and selling my creations on Etsy. I feel lucky to have Etsy as an option so that I can make back a little money to help pay for the all the money I spend on craft supplies. I don't rely on it though, I have a 'proper' job to pay the bills. But what about women in Uganda, who live in poverty and don't have access to Etsy, let alone employment that will give them a decent wage. This is where organisations like Bead For Life and Life in Africa have stepped in, to help those poor communities raise themselves out of poverty by making something out of next to nothing.
If you want to help (and treat yourself!), you can buy bracelets from Life in Africa, like the ones shown above, and other items made from their colourful handmade paper beads. Visit their site to learn more about this company.
Photo by Bead for Life
And there's more! Bead For Life have a lovely site with lots of beautiful photography like the one above and better still, more paper beads jewellery to buy, including packs of loose beads, in their shop.
Photo by Lars Hasselblad Torres
I really liked the fish above which is a 'Peace Tile', made by a participant in The Global Peace Tiles project , which "is a fun way to involve people everywhere in arts-based learning and sharing. To date, more than 3,000 people - from 7 to 70 - in over a dozen countries have produced thousands of works of art that have been combined into vibrant murals. Produced in structured workshops, these tiles have been used in many ways - to respond to urgent issues like HIV/AIDS (advocacy), to explore aspects of community (self-expression), to learn more about a topic like children in conflict (education), to build connections among groups of people (exchange), and to work through trauma (therapy)". There is even a Flickr group where you can see lots of examples of Peace Tiles.
Ten Thousand Villages is a great site for buying fair trade crafts, especially things like the colourful ship kite and the recycled can ornament, above. This company works with communities in the poorest places around the world to help raise their standard of living by selling their handmade crafts. Why buy things from the high street when you can buy beautiful things from the comfort of your home, AND know that you're helping someone in need at the same time, even in a small way - it all counts.
So treat yourself and help someone in poverty at the same time!