A Fair Trade Christmas Bazaar.

Posted on Nov 12, 2014 by NepalTravel under Shopping

Tags: Fair,trade,Nepal,Handicraft

Blog submitted by: Meagan Shantz

With winter approaching in Kathmandu, I wanted to buy some nice Nepali handicrafts to brave the cold in style: yak wool mittens, slippers, scarves, knitted sweaters, and more. I recently visited Fair Trade shops like Kumbeshwar Technical School(KTS) and Sana Hastakala. After learning about the positive impacts of their work, I was more than willing to pay a little more for good quality products that support hardworking marginalized people. It feels great to buy a product with a story, and to know that my purchase is making a small difference.

Have you ever bought something and wondered where it came from, who made it, the working conditions and if the producers are paid a fair wage? Fair Trade certified organizations ensure that their employees are given opportunities, treated well and given a proper salary for their work. They focus on employing marginalized people, upholding gender equity and non-discrimination, and creating safe and healthy work environments free of child labour. In a country like Nepal which is one of the poorest, Fair Trade has transformed many lives. Fair Trade Group Nepal (FTG Nepal) is the first Fair Trade network organization in Nepal and has been advocating and promoting Fair Trade since 1993.
As an International Development student at the University of Waterloo, Canada, I have learned about Fair Trade in school and through organizations like Ten Thousand Villages which sell handicrafts from around the world. But here in Kathmandu, it has been incredible to see the other end of the chain and personally meet women producers who benefit from Fair Trade practices. During my visit to KTS, I met Soma, a woman with many struggles in her life. As a child she dreamed of becoming a lawyer, but her parents did not allow her to go to school. When she grew up, she barely got by selling vegetables on the street, but when she came to KTS, they provided her free education as well as training in carpet weaving. With her new practical skills, she was able to get a job at KTS and has worked there over 20 years. She said with tears that her life is so much better now. It’s people like this that are supported when we buy Fair Trade products!

For tourists, expats, and local Nepalis, I highly recommend visiting local Fair Trade businesses in Kathmandu. And to those who are in town on November 29th, there is a great chance to see all the different Fair Trade members in one place! FTG Nepal is hosting one of its biggest Fair Trade bazaars in partnership with GIZ. It is a whole day event with Fair Trade members showcasing their products, as well as activities, live artisans at work, and various local food vendors. You won’t want to miss this day of fun for the whole family, where you can learn more about Fair Trade in Nepal and purchase beautiful handcrafted products of Nepal for your Christmas holidays. 

German Development Cooperation Office, Sanepa, Lalitpur
Nov 29th 11am – 7pm
COST? Entrance is free!

Check out the Facebook event for more details:

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