We set up our Christmas tree last night. Now, normally I refuse to do anything holiday related until December 1st (since in my head, the Christmas season doesn’t start until December. Take that Wal-Mart!), but I really wanted a chance to share a really cool company with all of you for this Fair Trade Friday. So, we started setting up our Christmas cheer a few days early.
Our tree is really very small, but it’s one of over 50 million trees that will be set up in this country to celebrate the upcoming holiday. What if that yearly tradition could be used to help people on the other side of the planet?
These fun little pink animals were a gift from my dad for the girls. The giraffe belongs to Big A, and the ostrich is Little A’s. And they’re more than cute ornaments. They come from a great website, Ornaments4Orphans.org, a division of Pearl Ministries. These little ornaments, along with a virtual plethora of other designs, are handmade by artisans in Kenya for a company called Kanzi, a fair trade company, and then donated to the Ornaments4Orphans.org. The sale of each ornament goes directly back into Pearl Ministries’ goal of reaching the physical and spiritual needs of the approximately 12 million children in Sub-Saharan Africa that have been orphaned by AIDS.
Pearl Ministries is a non-profit located in Uganda, a country known as the “Pearl of Africa.” It is a country that has been ravaged by war for over two decades, leaving behind a country full of children affected by disease, poverty, and AIDS. In 2001, a 22-year old Ugandan woman named Sarah was compelled to bring the gospel to the children in her community, and an orphanage and children’s home known as Ranch on Jesus Ministries was opened. Since then, the ministry has expanded to include 3 acres of farmland with crops that both feed the children and earn a small profit at the market, a primary school that provides an education to roughly 500 children, with a scholarship program in place to provide a high school education to a few students in neighboring schools, and a vocational training program offered to several children with training in computers, mechanics, tailoring, and cosmetology.
There are several ways to get involved, including sponsorship of a child’s education, setting up a jewelry party to help sell Kanzi Craft jewelry and bags, or even contacting Ornaments4Orphans.org about setting up a Christmas tree in your church or school to help sell ornaments. Or, maybe the easiest, just by buying one of these beautiful ornaments for yourself.
By the way, anyone living in the Northwest Arkansas area, feel free to contact me about getting one of these ornaments. My dad’s church has a tree set up, and I’d be more than happy to get with you about buying one of these ornaments locally, and maybe saving you some shipping charges!
Enjoy your weekend everyone!