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Ethical Gifts

Updated on September 12, 2014

Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.

We can all make such a significant and positive difference and support environmental sustainability, fair working conditions, reduction in environmental exploitation and social justice just by making thoughtful shopping choices and choosing ethically made goods. Being an ethical shopper is easy, its about buying products that have been made in a sustainable manner and do not cause any harm to the environment or others.

Papier mache desk set

Source

Gorgeous papier mache desk set made by a South African income generation program for women who are living with HIV. It is a community-based organization that truly values the wisdom and skills of the women they serve. . Seventy-five percent of the proceeds from the income generation program goes back to the women and the remainder is used by the organization to provides support groups for the women and their families.

Recycled Glass Jewellery - Turning Waste Into Beauty

Recycled Glass Bead Necklace
Recycled Glass Bead Necklace

A simple elegant necklace made from recycled glass bottles and window panes Made by the artisans from Paper Craft Uganda. Paper Craft was set up to provide a sustainable income for a group of socially disadvantaged Ugandans, (mainly women) through the production and sale of handmade products. The majority of Paper Craft employees would otherwise find it almost impossible to find a job or to support their families. Paper Craft is a self sufficient business that does not rely on donations.

Gorgeous products making positive changes - Recycled Paper Art

Stitched Paper Bowl
Stitched Paper Bowl

Quazi Design is a social enterprise based in Swaziland that transforms waste magazines into original accessories and home ware. Through innovative techniques and collaboration, they have pushed the boundaries of craft, responsibility, and design. They produce sustainable jewellery and home accessories from recycled paper. The products are all handmade by local rural women. and the results are cutting edge designs, unique and striking items which are environmentally friendly and provide employment to local women. Quazi Designs employ 10 women full time at their workshop in Swaziland. These women have had no previous employment and no previous skills and have an average of 7 dependents each. Through Quazi Designs the women are independent, can send their children to school, as in Swaziland they have to pay school fees, can pay hospital fees, can care for their families and can put food on the table Gorgeous products making positive changes for the environment and society.

recycled wallet
recycled wallet

Ecofriendly and Stylish

Recycled Plastic Bags Become A Durable Wallet

Born of a desire to reduce India's mountain of waste, improve energy efficiency, and help some of Delhi's poorest out of the city's slums, Conserve India achieves all this by turning plastic bags into high fashion bags and wallets

This wallet is made from a material created by recycling the plastic bags into supple plastic sheets with the characteristics of leather. The wallet is both functional and durable. It has a zipper closure and removable cotton wrist strap. Inside is lined with cotton and has 8 credit card slots, multiple open pockets and a zippered coin pouch.

Fairtrade Recycled Bookmarks
Fairtrade Recycled Bookmarks

Tin Monkey Bookmarks

Fait-Trade Crafts

Handmade by artisans from the Kisumu Innovation Centre in Kenya. The artisans recycle otherwise useless material into these beautiful products enabling them to earn a decent wage in the process.

Zulu Bowls Made From Woven Telephone Wires

Zulu Bowls Made From Woven Telephone Wires
Zulu Bowls Made From Woven Telephone Wires
Telephone Wire Mduduzi Bowl
Telephone Wire Mduduzi Bowl

A beautifully crafted woven copper wire bowl that fuses traditional Zulu weaving techniques with modern materials This design symbiosis, resulting in beautiful decor pieces, has now become a South African classic .

 
Red Telephone Wire Lace Bowl
Red Telephone Wire Lace Bowl

A beautifully crafted woven copper wire bowl that fuses traditional Zulu weaving techniques with modern materials This design symbiosis, resulting in beautiful decor pieces, has now become a South African classic .

 
Fairtrade Shea Butter
Fairtrade Shea Butter

Organic Shea Body Butter

Building A Future For The Woman Of Sudan

Lulu Life Shea butter from the Sudan is emerging as a premium product in skin care following research revealing it as possibly the richest source in the world of skin nutrients that heal scars, burns and stretch marks and keep skin young for years longer. Researchers have discovered an active ingredient in Shea oil, unsaponifiables, that help to counteract eczema, psoriasis, dry skin, scars, stretch marks, wrinkles, burns, rashes and wounds. At much the same time, scientists also discovered that the Shea oil contained Stigmasterol, which contributed to cell growth and regeneration, leading to younger-looking skin

The secret of Lulu Life's success lies in the type of tree it is harvesting from. Lulu Life Shea butter is made from the nuts of a tree that grows only in East Africa. East African, or Nilotic, shea butter comes from the vitellaria nilotica tree and is different from the West African Shea butter that consumers are used to. Nilotic Shea butter melts more gently, deeply, and fragrantly into the skin and as it is rich in vitamin E and antioxidants acts to restore and moisturise the skin and even hair. Lulu Life organically grown Shea Body Butter not only promotes cell regeneration and younger looking skin it protects the skin from harmful agents. Lulu Life pure shea butter is soft to the touch and melts directly into the skin as soon as it is applied

Lulu Life Body Butter is organically grown and comes in Natural (fragrance free) as well as range of gorgeous butters scented with essential oils in Lavender, Lavender Spearmint, Ylang Ylang, Sandalwood, Jasmine, Lulu Delight (myrrh), Lulu Love (floral), and Mayan Gold.

Lulu Works is a non-profit trust established to provide a suitable revenue for the women of South Sudan. Building on the traditional role of Sudanese women as both the producers of Lulu oil and the guardians of the Lulu tree, Lulu Works Trust provides a sustainable livelihood for these women and their families.

Paper Bead Bracelets
Paper Bead Bracelets

Paper Bead Bracelets

Handmade and Fair-Trade

By skillfully recycling the pages of glossy magazines women in Uganda create wonderful brightly coloured paper bead jewellery and through the sale of these lovely products are able to feed and clothe their families and educate their children.

Fair Trade , recycled and handmade!! Can't get better than that

Paper Bead Necklace
Paper Bead Necklace

Paper Bead Necklaces

Recycled Magazines

The gorgeous coloured beads in this necklace are made by women in Uganda who painstakingly hand roll glossy paper from old magazines to make each bead, they then varnish them, and turn them into beautiful jewellery

The jewellery is made by the women of the Kind Mothers Project, an association which was initiated by eight Ugandan mothers who felt touched by the plight of children living under difficult conditions in their country. They realized many children were in dire need of help and they wanted to make a contribution towards improving the situation of these unfortunate and vulnerable children, and help to improve their lives. The money raised from the sale of these beautiful hand crafted items helps provide education and better future for these children

Bundubags- Recycled Handmade and Fair-Trade
Bundubags- Recycled Handmade and Fair-Trade

Retro African and Chic

Recycled Cargo Strapping

Bundubags is a bag company with a difference. They make beautiful, innovative, totally recycled bags, with a core belief that lives can be changed by design. Bundubags began with a creative idea, a love of contemporary African design and a heart for African women.

Recycling in Africa has been a way of life out of necessity, and some of the most innovative, inspiring craft in Africa is made using upcycled material. It was this inspiration that moved Bundubags to seek out a material that could be used to create a striking range of bags. At the same time utilising traditional African craft skills, with an aim to generate an income for the lives of 40+ women living on the outskirts of Johannesburg, South Africa in the township Alexandra.

Using traditional African basket weaving skills, strips of the strapping are sorted, cleaned, cut, and weaved to create the innovative bags. For the ordinary cargo strapping this means a new life. Now, instead of poisoning the earth in an ugly landfill somewhere, thousands of metres are queuing up in a storeroom, eagerly awaiting their extreme make over into official Bundubags. Adding to the commitment of creating a 100% African designed end product, each bag is lined with authentic vibrant, Shwe Shwe fabric.

The fabric is produced still using the traditional process of printing fabric through copper rollers, which have the patterns etched on the surface.

Bundubags commitment to sustainability goes beyond recycling waste-bound materials. They also practice fair trade. They care for each and every one of the ladies that makes up their business. They are the ones that put their skills and love into making every bags. Bundubags is run as efficiently and as profitably as a company, with a strong belief in trade not aid. Each women forms part of a for profit business model and therefore is paid a fair wage and is a shareholder in the business. Bundubags believes that responsible and proactive business does have the ability to change lives.

Recycled Tote Bag
Recycled Tote Bag

Funky Junk Recycled

Recycled Plastic Bags

FunkyJunk is an innovative social enterprise - making beautiful, functional, long-lasting items from used plastic bags reclaimed from streets and fields in Cambodia. Funky Junk products contribute to a cleaner environment and provides fair-trade income, training and community benefits for local producers. All of Funky Junk products are 100% recycled made from discarded plastic bags, collected by rubbish pickers. They are washed, disinfected and dried in the sun before being sorted by colour. The bags are cut and made into yarn, which is then crocheted into Funky Junks fabulous eco-friendly range.

Trade Bead Bracelet
Trade Bead Bracelet

Trade Bead Bracelet

Hand painted blue glass beads interspersed with silver coloured beads

Since ancient times, traders crossed Africa in search of riches. trade beads provided people with the means to exchange goods and services. This bracelet is bright enough to be worn alone, or maximize the impact with multiple bracelets together on your wrist or ankle. The stretchy band makes this bracelet a good fit for most.

Made by a womens group from Kenya.

Proceeds from these beads go to the Kenyan Drought Relief fund.

African Needlework

Through embroidery women in Zululand are working toward a better life.

Africa's rich cultural heritage has inspired this range of hand-embroidered cushions. Decorated in a contemporary stylised African animal pattern they are a striking and elegant addition to both traditional and modern décor. Made by the women of Tunga Studio an embroidery studio based in remote Zululand. Tunga uses creativity to help women in this community realise their dreams for a better life. Tunga's signature style are original, playful designs with each product being a canvas for the naïve art that has become Tunga's signature style.

Fair-trade Journals
Fair-trade Journals

Jute Paper Journal

Earth Friendly and People Friendly Gifts

Gold coloured bicycles adorn the front and back of this lovely deep blue journal. This fair-trade journal is made with handmade paper from jute pulp. Jute paper is not only earth friendly it has a lovely smooth texture for writing.

The journal is made by the women of Bonoful Handmade Paper Project in Bangladesh. The women artisans make unique paper and paper products out of pineapple leaves, as well as cotton, jute and other fibres The women who work for the enterprise are widows, divorcees or head of households with little or no income. By providing jobs for women, the women’s standard of living is improved and it enables them send their children to school.

Fairtrade Toys For Children
Fairtrade Toys For Children

Crochet Nutcracker Soldier and Ballerina

Ethical Toys For Lucky Kids

There is an enormous range to chose from when it comes to finding a toy to buy for a child but when it comes to choosing good quality, safe and ethical toys for your children handmade toys are definitely the best. Handmade and Fair Trade toys are not only cleaner and safer for children but are often far more eco-friendly as they are not made in energy hungry factories The sale of handmade and fair-trade toys also helps to support women and their children in less developed countries. Toys that are hand crafted are not much dearer and they will last from one child to the next, they do no harm to the planet and the sales help someone who is trying to build a better life Artisan made Fair Trade toys are usually of a very high quality and are some of the most beautiful and loveable of toys They are filled with their own individual adorable charm which only comes when each item is made with care, by hand and not mass-produced. Next time you are looking to buy a toy for a child consider Fair Trade toys, you will find them to be some of the most charming toys on the market

Recycled Tin Flowers - Fairtrade and Ecofriendly

Fairtrade Recycled Art
Fairtrade Recycled Art

African recycled crafts are made out of ‘nothing’; discarded household junk, cans, plumbing, wire and plastics –the things people throw away and abandon. People with hardly any resources pick up the junk around them and fashion the waste into amazing items .

Fair Trade Tea
Fair Trade Tea

Fair Trade Tea

Do Not Wait For Leaders Do It Alone-Person to Person - Mother Teresa

This tea is grown on the slopes of Mt Kenya by subsistence farmers who belong to a Fair-Trade co-operative which processes all of their crop. After processing 4% of the crop is returned to these farmers to use to obtain some further income.Usually after the sale of their allocated amount of tea the farmers do not even receive a dividend because of the costs of the auction This tea is now bought directly from the growers and sold to you ensuring the farmers receive a fair price for their tea.

Recycled Art That Just Can't Be Ignored - Ingenious

Recycled Art
Recycled Art

This truly unique animal has been made from rubber flip-flops ( rubber thongs) that have washed up on Kenyan beaches

Made by a company that was started as a response to an ecological nightmare - discarded flip flops washing up on Kenyan beaches in vast numbers. The invading tide of debris prevents turtles from laying eggs and the few baby turtles that hatch from returning to the ocean. This program is a very clever way of dealing with the pollution on the beaches in Kenya .The rubber flip-flop, which float to Kenya from Asia, are collected and recycled into the most amazing products. These stunning animal sculptures and others like it are drawing attention to environmental problems, promoting recycling in a creative and delightful way and generating employment for over 150 people.

Telephone Wire Baskets
Telephone Wire Baskets

Telephone Wire Baskets

Tradiional Skill Contemporary Designs

The telephone wire basket is a relatively recent craft development which reflects the ingenuity of craftspeople. Brightly coloured telephone wires are used to great creative effect, decoratively covering objects such as bottles and walking sticks, or made into plates and baskets." (Todres, 1998 Guide to South African Arts, Culture and Heritage). The origins of telephone wire weaving is traced to Zulu night watchmen in urban areas who, to banish loneliness and boredom on night shifts, took to weaving coloured wire around their traditional sticks. Soon this technique was adapted to making izimbenge (beer pot covers) and the wire bowls we have today. This craft now encompasses enormous creativity in diverse forms. Depending on the skill of a weaver, a small 12cm bowl can take from 3 to 5 hours to complete, whilst a large 40cm basket can take up up 40 hours to complete. No two baskets will be identical as each artisan draws on their own creative knowledge base to produce unique designs and patterns for each product.

The techniques and aesthetic of traditional grass basket-weaving have been beautifully adapted by contemporary Zulu artisans to this contemporary material and they are now providing a source of dignified income and hope for over 600 weavers in the Kwazulu Natal region of Sth Africa.

Changing Lives Stitch By Stitch

Embroidered Bear

Out of a small workshop in Cape Town, South Africa, a group of women gather each day, to embroider their life stories. On fine French cotton embroidered with colourful thread the small teddy bears hold the stories of their often complex and challenging lives. Each little bear is completely unique and a one of a kind. Detailed hand-embroidery is a labour intensive process. It takes several weeks to make a tiny bear. Through this creative outlet, small teddy bears are changed into whimsical, magical creatures and a group of women in South Africa have the opportunity to earn a dignified income.

Kenana Knitter Puppets
Kenana Knitter Puppets

Hand Knitted Jungle Puppets

Fair Trade Toys

Hand knitted and made from all natural home spun wool these animal puppets will bring hours and hours of fun and imaginative play.The puppets are made using the natural colours of wool or wool that has been dyed with plants that have been grown in the gardens of the women who knit these lovely toys. The puppets are made by the women of Kenana Knitters are a group of over 300 women who make up a self supporting knitting co-operative in Kenya. Each critter is signed by its maker - signatures which represent the pride and newfound independence that has grown among these women as a result of this organization.

Crocheted Toys
Crocheted Toys

Handmade and Fairtrade Toys

Crochet Toys

If you have been shopping recently you will have no doubt discovered that many shops sell almost exactly the same mass produced thing and finding an original and well made gift for a child is very difficult. Pebble toys are the exact opposite. Affordable, machine washable and gorgeous each one is unique and simply delightful.

Pebble Toys are a lovely collection of hand knitted and crocheted soft toys ranging from the sweetest little owl and pixie rattles to bright green dinosaurs. Pebble brings smiles not only to the faces of the children who are lucky enough to own a Pebble toy but to the amazing women who make these lovely things. By simply buying a Pebble soft toy you are helping women and children in Bangladesh to earn a decent living Pebble is part of the nonprofit organization Hathay Bunano that is based in Bangladesh. The main goal of the organisation is to create flexible job opportunities for women in rural Bangladesh who have no source of income.

The workers co-operative was set up by Samantha Morshed to provide fairly paid work for women in rural communities. Traditionally women have had to leave their communities and move to Dhaka to earn money, and Dhaka is a very harsh city to live in. The traffic is horrific, the electricity supply unreliable and if you are poor you are likely to be living in extremely overcrowded and dirty conditions .

Pebble toys are hand made, cotton crochet toys that offer hope to the women who make them and joy to the children who own them..They are gorgeous, unique, affordable and fair trade. Can't get better than that!

Wooden Toys
Wooden Toys

Eco Friendly Wooden Toys

Children will love this brightly coloured little bee with wings that turn as the bee moves along

This traditional toy is crafted from eco-friendly recycled rubberwood and uses only non-toxic, child safe paints.

Designed and manufactured by a socially responsible Australian company that runs programmes to help people with disabilities in Vietnam gain employment and develop skills in woodwork

Recycled Paper Bowl

Fair-trade and handmade

This brilliant handmade and fair-trade recycled bowl is made with posters that have been recycled. Artisans form the paper into flat strips, dip them in a glue mixture and hang the strips of paper to dry. They then re-wet the strips to soften them and skilfully coil the strips of recycled posters resulting in sturdy attractive and eco-friendly bowls and other items for the home.

Not only is it earth friendly it is made by a non-profit organization that provides income generation to Vietnamese artisans

Raku Pottery Zebra
Raku Pottery Zebra

Raku Pottery From Sth Africa

Raku, a Japanese method of firing is the inspiration behind the production of this unique, African pottery. Starting as a small craft operation, in a small town in the Cape Province of South Africa today the production of this Raku Pottery employs over 45 people. Beautiful objects providing work with dignity and hope for a better tomorrow.

Monkeybiz

These unique beadworks are made in Sth Africa by an organisation known as Monkeybiz.

All of the profits from the sales of artworks are reinvested back into community services, including an HIV wellness clinic, weekly soup kitchens, yoga, drama and choir groups, as well as a burial fund for artists and their families.

Monkeybiz artworks are pricey by comparison with mass-produced pieces. But buyers know that they are also providing fair compensation to the artist, and that any additional profit is not for middlemen, but for desperately needed community services.

Monkey Biz is a beautiful company that uses their art to make a difference.

Creating art and improving lives.

These beautiful embroidered products are made by a needlework project which is giving life to women in the outposts of Zululand. About 30 Zulu women are provided with the thread and cloth from which they produce exquisitely bright, hand embroidered pillows, bags, and cards. The designs are contemporary, the skill involved in producing each item outstanding and each carefully made item is unique.

The travel purses/ makeup bags are a lovely example of their work. African animals are the inspiration for the design.

Beauty From The Ugliness Of War - Bracelet Made From Recycled Bomb Casings

Fairtrade Bombshell Jewellery
Fairtrade Bombshell Jewellery

This bomb shell jewellery turns the painful legacy of war into a beautiful item and offers a more positive future for the artisans who make the jewellery as well as those who have been maimed by the direct victims of landmines.The Cambodian landscape is littered with unexploded ordinances and bomb casings, many of which are still being uncovered. Today, artisans use bombshells to create fashion statements for peace.This symbolic jewellery takes the scars of a country's horrific history and transforms them into something beautiful .

This impressive jewellery shows a positive and inspiringly creative reaction to violent conflict, it is a way of reminding us of the impressive strength that lies within so many.

Notebooks Made From Elephant Poo Paper
Notebooks Made From Elephant Poo Paper

Elephant Poo Paper

Yup!

Paper made from elephant poo ? Yes! People often laugh when they first encounter the idea but everything from notebooks to cards is printed on the paper. ( yes, the poo is treated as part of the paper-making process.)

The original motivation behind Elephant Dung Paper was that in Sri Lanka they're considered a problem particularly to the farmers. Creating a market for their excrement made them valuable to the local people and this now offers some protection to the animals. Because elephants are vegetarian animals, their dung is pretty much just dried-out plants that are partially digested,.

High quality, handmade eco-friendly elephant dung paper and paper products manufactured by Maximus under the peace paper plan can be bought through Ethical Gifts. By purchasing these products, you are not only helping the environment by saving a tree but you are also contributing to the care of the endangered Sri Lankan elephant.

Just love the Eco Max Craft-a-Card (pictured above), a card making kit for children made from elephant dung paper.

Cards From Africa - Changing Lives

Rwanda one of the world's poorest countries is known mostly for the genocide and war, in which over 800,000 of Rwanda's 8,000,000 people were killed in 1994. As a result of this tragedy and the the HIV/AIDS epidemic an estimated 8 percent of the total population in Rwanda is orphaned

Cards from Africa is helping to support a few of these orphans. The idea for Cards from Africa came to British founder, Chris Page, in 2004. Chris teamed up with a Rwandan artist and together they learned how to make paper and create simple cards. Their first employee was a young orphaned woman. After one month they asked her to bring another friend to train but she brought two. It didn't take long before twenty more orphaned young people were trained and Cards From Africa was born .

The handcrafted cards are made from recycled office waste, discarded scraps. Without chemicals and using the traditional African method of making paper, they create interesting and varied textures using natural products.

Dolls That Are Spreading The Love - Sth African Ndebele Dolls Are Providing The Chance Of A Better Future

Handmade and Fairtrade Dolls
Handmade and Fairtrade Dolls

Dolls in African culture are not usually childrens play things but often have spiritual associations within the community.

These superb beaded dolls are made by women of the Ndebele tribe in South Africa. The Ndebele are noted for their extraordinarily beautifully painted homes of brilliant colors. Their clothing is similarly decorative and colorful. The bead work on these Ndebele dolls is a reflection of the traditional clothing worn by the women themselves.

One of the oldest and most revered practices is that of making these Ndebele beaded dolls. The dolls carry symbolic representations for the person they will be given too. The clothes on the doll and the colours used in the beadwork and fabrics chosen convey a message often associated with courtship and marriage.

The dolls are now being made in more contemporary colours for a growing Western market. Making these dolls enables more than 70 women to enjoy the flexibility of working from home and therby being able to care for their children, and the ability to earn an independent income in an area where poverty is high and there are very few job opportunities.

Fair-Trade Gifts

To a growing number of people, the value of an item that provides a positive change to another human being is great, add to that is the desire to own and give gifts that are earth friendly, are made by hand and where human talent is evident in the skill and creativity of the product. When one takes time to measure the overall value of fair- trade gifts to our basic humanity, to our curiosity, to our desire to own unique and interesting items, mass-produced, factory products bought in big box stores appear unimaginative and impersonal .Fair trade items will never be price-competitive with mass-produced items, they can't be as the time required to make each item is hours often days, not minutes as in machine made products. But despite the cost difference the demand by shoppers for a greater positive impact of their dollars is evident in the increased desire for fair-trade and eco friendly gifts..

Even a small gift item with positive human impact shows your recipient that you’ve given their gift a lot more thought and haven't just grabbed something in a mad dash through a superstore a week before Christmas. Fair-trade gifts show your loved ones they are very important to you, you value the future of humanity and the environment and you put your dollars to work in a positive way. Not every gift can be fair-trade, but when fair-trade gifts are appropriate to your recipient, they are a wonderful choice

Litter-Less Lunches

Gorgeous Way To Avoid Waste

The perfect way to identify lunch in the office fridge or in the playground. Made from Mexican oilcloth these brightly coloured oilcloth lunch bags are the ideal way to brighten up your day and can be used again and again. The lunch bags are easily wiped clean , they fit over a standard sized lunch box if you have something squishy to take and they neatly fold over and close with a Velcro seal

Mexican Oilcloth is a traditional fabric you probably have fond memories of as a brightly coloured cloth on your Grans kitchen table. It has been made in Mexico by the same factory for over 50 years. Oilcloth is highly durable, fade resistant, stain resistant and it simply wipes clean. Mexican Oilcloth is famous throughout the world for its practical qualities and gorgeous colours and patterns and is now available as these fun lunch bags.

Cards From Africa
Cards From Africa

Cards From Africa

Making A Difference

Rwanda one of the world's poorest countries is known mostly for the genocide and war, in which over 800,000 of Rwanda's 8,000,000 people were killed in 1994. As a result of this tragedy and the the HIV/AIDS epidemic an estimated 8 percent of the total population in Rwanda is orphaned

Cards from Africa is helping to support a few of these orphans. The idea for Cards from Africa came to British founder, Chris Page, in 2004. Chris teamed up with a Rwandan artist and together they learned how to make paper and create simple cards. Their first employee was a young orphaned woman. After one month they asked her to bring another friend to train but she brought two. It didn't take long before twenty more orphaned young people were trained and Cards From Africa was born

The handcrafted cards are made from recycled office waste, discarded scraps. Without chemicals and using the traditional African method of making paper, they create interesting and varied textures using natural products.

Typical of the sad stories behind those who make these cards is the story on Cards From Africas web site about a young woman called Germaine. Before the genocide Germaine lived securely with her large family of 9 brothers and sisters, her mother and father, who were a businessman and a teacher. Her parents and her five eldest siblings were slaughtered in the genocide and she was left at age 11 a frightened traumatized child who had to care for her 3 younger sisters and younger brother. Nothing of Germaine's past life was left No house and no belongings. Her siblings were in desperate need food , shelter and clothing., Germaine spent a long time scared and lonely, often crying for days and nights on end. She was deeply hurt and there was no one left to care for her.

Germaine is now 23 years old and still looks after her brothers and sisters. She has a job at Cards from Africa and is able to earn money to pay rent for a house they can live in, feed themselves buy clothes, and school supplies for their education.

.

Most of us won't ever have a chance to assist directly in Rwanda's reconciliation process. But we can help by supporting organisations that do

Fairtrade Xmas
Fairtrade Xmas

Share The Love

Christmas Gift Ideas

This year when you start writing THAT!! Xmas shopping list, the one that has question marks next to Aunt Martha and little Johny's music teacher please do stop for a minute and think and feel. Christmas isn't supposed to be a shopping spree designed to send you broke and send your stress levels vertical, it is about sharing, about showing others they matter. Be it family, friends, work mates or the music teacher who listened kindly and patiently all year while little Johnny played enthusiastically and badly Christmas is a time when we are reminded how very much other people do matter.

Somewhere in a disadvantaged country is a mother, a father, a family like yours with an Aunt Martha of sorts, they too have a little Johny they love to bits but they are not writing shopping lists or hoping this year for Christmas to be less stressful. They are hoping that life might just get a little easier, that there will be food on the table more often,hoping that their boy might live to be an adult, that he may even go to school,.They are trying very hard to build a life with simple necessities, shelter,food,clean water, medicine, safety, hope.

Think of them when you write that shopping list. There are lovely handmade Fair-Trade gifts that will please the music teacher and Aunt Martha and by buying them you will make a difference to others who have not been fortunate enough to be born in an affluent and safe world.

Share your luck. Share the love.

Fair-Trade Matters
Fair-Trade Matters

Ethical Shopping

Be the change you wish to see in the world

There are so many benefits associated with ethical shopping. It is one of the most effective ways to attain sustainable development and deal with social injustice. We can support the rights of the people who produce the goods, take an active part in combating climate change and alleviating world poverty.

We need to bring ethical consumerism to the forefront so that more people become aware of their ability to make positive changes by choosing products that are ethically produced. We can make the world a healthier and fairer place by making small adjustments in our lives. If we all act together the impact will be substantial

“Nobody did a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little.” ~ Edmund Burke

Ethical Gifts Australia
Ethical Gifts Australia

Heartfelt Project- The Story

It has a sad beginning but because of it the lives of others will be changed forever...........

Martha Letsoalo started the heartfelt project with Julie Hadley after her son Emanuel died in prison wrongly accused and sadly abused at the age of 25. His files to this day have never been found. After stealing what little money Martha had and promising to get Emanuel out of prison, the corrupt lawyer left her broken hearted and disheartened by the legal system in the country. With no husband to depend on, no job opportunities and three grandchildren to feed - Martha did what came naturally to her – she found a way to survive.

The heartfelt project is her story. It’s about who she is. It’s about her children. It’s about the lives of the women and families in her community. It’s about the sadness that happens on a daily basis in a little place called Makapanstad. And the big difference one small heart can make to the happiness of others. Together, Martha and Julie started creating and designing the heartfelt products using traditional handcraft skills, felt and beads. Today they are sold within South Africa and the UK. There are now ten women employed by the heartfelt project. Each day they come to work full of pride and hope. Creating each heartfelt design out of love and strongly believing that they can make a difference - not only to their own lives but to the lives of the community in which they live. Each heart sold by the heartfelt project helps to feed and clothe the ladies and their families. It also gives back to the community by donating a small portion to a local charity to help fight TB, HIV/AIDS and look after children and old aged men and woman within Makapanstad. Its aim is to heal the hearts of people who don't have the opportunities we have on a daily basis. And to fill not only the ladies hearts but many others with hope.

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    • ethical-gifts profile image
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      ethical-gifts 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks for the encouragement : ) It is a fantastic way to teach kids more about the world and the power of simple kindness

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      You have answered my prayers for a way to give that helps the world. Wonderful lens to get kids involved.

    • ethical-gifts profile image
      Author

      ethical-gifts 5 years ago

      @sherioz: They are fabulous . Just so creative

    • profile image

      sherioz 5 years ago

      This is wonderful. I love these crafts. Bought a few myself.

    • ethical-gifts profile image
      Author

      ethical-gifts 5 years ago

      @AngelDey: Sorry Angela I should have thought! The products are available from

      www.ethicalgifts.net.au

    • ethical-gifts profile image
      Author

      ethical-gifts 5 years ago

      @tom-macgregor: It is fantastic! Thanks Tom

    • AngelDey profile image

      AngelDey 5 years ago

      Might I suggest putting a link to where we can buy these gift in each section, if possible. I love the art though. Very unique & wonderful!

    • tom-macgregor profile image

      tom-macgregor 5 years ago

      Brilliant lens. I love all of this stuff.