Memory Cross has added fair trade jewelry, candles, baskets, art, home decor and apparel that support the Foundation Center of Helping Hands Orphanage in Barahona Dominican Republic. The orphanage houses boys ages 7 to 19. Prior to living in the orphanage, these boys were either on the streets or in abusive households. Pastor Pedro runs the orphanage along with the Dominican Evangelical Church and there is a waiting list of children needing a safe place to live.
Mike Vitamvas who is a partner at Memory Cross and has been down to the Dominican Republic has personally seen the situation and wanted to help. Fair trade products were the perfect fit because each purchase supports local artisans and their families in communities around the world as well as supporting the children in the orphanage. Through a partnership with Global Crafts Memory Cross is able to provide thousands of unique handmade items all made by local artisans in 20 different countries.
Each fair trade partner helps raise people out of poverty by teaching them a skill and most also work to protect the environment through the use of recycled products. The story of John Mucheru from Zakale Creations in Nairobi is one example. Zakale Creations is changing lives in the slums of Nairobi by teaching young men and women a skill, where job opportunities are very few. In the slums of Nairobi almost eighty percent of the youth are involved in criminal activities where Zakale Creations is located. John Mucheru believes that God created every human being with a purpose and the organization has grown to support over 50 youth who were unemployed and on the streets. World Vision created a video of this remarkable story, which is one of many stories of lives changed through Fair Trade.
Each fair trade product is beautifully handmade using local artists and supporting the local community. Before fair trade most of these artists found it difficult to provide for their families because of a limited market, but by selling their products through fair trade partnerships they are able to expand to a global market.
In addition to fair trade products Memory Cross makes Gospel tracts, Bible story cards and scripture memory cards using a unique origami design which makes an endless loop. The Gospel tracts are available in English, Spanish, Haitian Creole, French, Romanian and in a wordless format and have been taken all over the world on mission trips.
Memory Cross can also create custom messages using this design on a variety of sizes from business cards to a eight by eight inch card. Memory Cross has created cards for many non-profit organizations including The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, LifeWay, The Baptist mission board as well as business including Budweiser, GM, Bojangles, magician Bill Herz and others. Memory Cross cards have also been used as wedding coasters and to help children live healthier lives through My Plate.
To find out more about fair trade products and how they impact children in the Dominican Republic visit their website.