Our team consists of our hardworking board members, volunteers, producers, and our valued customers.
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Our Fair Trade Store Volunteers
There are currently 35 people on the list of volunteers who usually work one four hour shift per week. When added up, this amounts to approximately 5800 hours volunteered per year! The store offers volunteers (and customers) a calm and happy atmosphere. We have volunteers who have been with the store for the whole 31 years, others for just a few months. Volunteers range in age from 18 to 82 years of age. Volunteers cross generations in families and across the oceans with temporary visitors to Victoria. Volunteers not only work in the store, they also purchase the products that we sell.
Our volunteers proudly support a successful venture
Our Fair Trade Store Board Members
Our board members team order products from various countries, undertake pricing sessions, disperse grants, and coordinate outreach community work.
Leslie is one of the store’s board members and has been volunteering within it for 11 years. She is responsible for ordering our products from Southeast Asia, and has impacted the lives of many. “I was motivated to volunteer at the store after spending many years travelling and working in third world countries,” says Leslie. “I am happy to be part of a great team of volunteers whose aim is to sell products from these countries making a difference to the lives of the disadvantaged in those areas.”
Susan used to be a board member, and she has been a crucial part of this store for over 30 years. She has been concerned with global inequality since she worked as a CUSO volunteer in the early 1970’s. In the early ’80s, Susan was part of a group that started selling fair trade coffee (produced by Bridgehead). The group decided they’d like to go further into supporting fair trade artisans so they opened a store in Victoria- thus beginning our beloved Global Village Store! Susan and her mother were both a part of this store.
Tricia is a board member for the Global Village Store and has been volunteering for 13 years. She orders products from Bangladesh and India including CDs, coffee, cards, and chocolate, and fills up the store with her big smile and contagious laugh. Tricia worked with her good friend Mavis, teaching at Tillicum Elementary School. One day Mavis said, “when you retire, you should volunteer at Global Villages.” And Tricia said, “okay.”
I had always loved Global Village and thought when I could retire I would volunteer there. Then a position came up to work as a paid coordinator. I jumped at it and have worked at the store ever since That was 15 years ago. I no longer work as the coordinator but volunteer in the store, on the board, as a purchaser and on the store committee. I love it and all the wonderful people who volunteer and shop at the store!
Verna moved to Victoria in 2010 and was interested in finding a worthwhile and invigorating volunteer opportunity. She soon met Susan Gage who introduced her to the amazing team at the Victoria Global Village store and has been involved ever since. Verna is a board member and purchaser in charge of ordering our jewellery and African products such as baskets and stoneware. She enjoys helping fair trade artisans earn a decent living by marketing their traditional hand crafted products. On the local level she finds it heartwarming that our customers comment often how much they like the unique products we carry from around the world.
Fair Trade Store Producers
Since 1988, the store has helped create employment for impoverished craftspeople in over 40 countries by providing an outlet where they can sell their goods for a fair price.
BaSE (Bangladesh Shilpo Ekota, which means United Artisans of Bangladesh) is a non-profit Guaranteed Fair Trade organization of Bangladesh set up to co-ordinate and promote the handicraft products of various female manufacturing groups out of the main stream, especially those working in the South-West. Since 1999 BaSE is a member of WFTO (World Fair Trade Organization)
United in BaSE, these groups produce various types of handmade items, such as Palmleaf Basketry, Jute Macramé, Nakshi Embroidery, Women’s Clothing and Accessories.
BaSE is owned by women producer groups and total over 10,000 producers (99% are women). BaSE is organised in 17 producer groups and have over 3,000 products. The producers are from marginalised communities.
BaSE uses local natural raw materials and products are 100% Natural, Biodegradable, Recyclable. They purchase all the raw materials direct from the farmers or producers and avoid medium/brokers.
Victoria Global Village began purchasing from BaSE in 2019. Their products are well made and are of excellent quality. We purchase from them: jute products, baskets, greeting cards, and recycled sari bags.
CORR-The Jute Works of Bangladesh is a registered Fair Trade Trust producing and marketing handicrafts. CORR was incepted in September 2, 1973. It is also a pioneer member of World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) previously known as IFAT.
CORR’s aim is to provide rural marginalized women with work at home. CORR provides the means of income generation for these groups of women through producing handicraft items made from locally available raw material jute and other things such as grass, leaf, cane, bamboo, clay. During its last 40 years journey, CORR continues to upgrade the socio-economic condition of poverty-stricken rural women artisans. The producers receive fair wage for their work.
The producers are organised in cooperative groups. They are fully autonomous in managing group affairs with the assistance of CORR’s Education Team as required and follow the cooperative principles. At present, there are 220 co- operative groups with 4856 female and 160 male producers in 16 districts of Bangladesh. In the field, volunteer supervision of production by group leaders and regular follow up visit by the Education Department ensure that the women receive a fair distribution of job orders.
Global Village Store purchases products from CORR bi-annually. Products include: terracotta items (banks, waterers, foot massagers), jewelry, hammocks, bags and baskets.
Craft Link is a Vietnamese not-for-profit fair trade organization which helps traditional craft producers revive their culture and improve their livelihoods through handicraft production and marketing. Craft Link is a member of the WFTO (World Fair Trade Organization).
All groups with which Craft Link works meet basic criteria such as fair wages, environmental and employee safety. Craft Link does not work with state-owned factories or joint-venture organisations because these groups already have access to market opportunities. Craft Link works as closely as possible with the people who actually produce the handicrafts.
Craft Link gives preference to producers who are marginalized or disadvantaged, such as ethnic minority people in remote areas, street children, and people with disabilities. Producer groups, organizations, or small businesses that are investing in the handicraft producers’ social welfare and not simply treating them as a means of production are given preference.
Victoria Global Village purchases products from Craft Link annually. Products include mainly: scarves and stuffed toys.
HEED (Health, Education, and Economic Development) Handicrafts of Bangladesh is a Fair Trade Organization and was established in 1978 with the aims of creating jobs and employment for the poor and marginal people, specialized in handicrafts production, using locally available environment friendly resources. HEED provides training and education to improve producer’s skills on products and market. The activities of HEED are operated as a sustainable self-financed project under the guideline of the HEED Board. The main products are: Hand-loom Products, Leather Products, Clay Products, Straw Art Products, Hand Made Paper Products, Wooden Products, Bamboo Products, Recycled Materials Products, Date-Leaf Products, Palm-Leaf Products, Hogla-Leaf Products, Jute Products, Recycled Glass, Ceramic, Cane Products, Embroidery Item, Palm Fiber Products, Tin Sheet Products & Christmas decoration Products etc.
Target Beneficiaries: More than 10,000 artisans of 300 groups from all over the country are the target beneficiary of HEED Handicrafts. About 60% female in the gender ratio.
Victoria Global Village Store buys a variety of products bi-annually from HEED, including: hand-loomed products (silk scarves, napkins, purses, pencil cases, wallets, rugs), baskets, and greeting cards.
Mai Handicraft is an income generating and educational project for economically disadvantaged women. It provides employment and training as well as promoting self-reliance amongst disadvantaged families and ethnic minorities in Southern Vietnam. It has established itself as the primary marketing agent for neglected women in the rural area by active product development and by selling Vietnamese handicrafts product to export and local markets.
Mai also tries to seek a model of social development in which social service can not be separated from economic self-reliance. Mai is a member of WFTO (World Fair Trade Organization).
Victoria Global Village purchases products from Mai bi-annually. Products include: baskets, recycled bags, quilling products, recycled paper items, purses, wooden products and ceramics.
Maximizing Employment to Serve the Handicapped (MESH) is an Indian organisation practising fair trade with disabled and leprosy affected crafts artisans.
– To provide opportunities for people with disabilities and their dependants, especially those affected by leprosy, to be rehabilitated in order to become self-sufficient.
– To train people with disabilities to produce goods suited to their capabilities.
– To serve as a guide in the selection of what will sell best.
– To assist in obtaining raw materials.
– To ensure prompt payment for goods to provide constant cash flow and working capital for continued production.
– To maintain quality control.
– To provide guidance to village industries in developing cost sheets which include fair wages for the artisans as well as overheads and profits.
– To secure orders with the aim of providing full-time employment for people with disabilities.
Victoria Global Village purchases from MESH: tablecloths, napkins, tea towels, and toys.
For more than 40 years Sasha has been bringing Indian artisans together to create stunning handicrafts and exquisite fashion items. Behind each beautiful product is a commitment to building a thriving artisan community with healthy working conditions, fair pay and concern for the environment.
Sasha was founded in 1978 and joined WFTO in 1995.
Sasha works with nearly 100 groups of disadvantaged women and marginalized producers and artisans from rural pockets of North East India, West Bengal, Orissa, Bihar and other states.
ThaiCraft is an independent fair trade company marketing quality handicrafts made by village groups of artisans in all parts of Thailand. Their objectives are: to generate a fair income for village artisans; to help keep alive the diverse craft traditions in Thailand; and to promote and practise the principles of fair trade.
ThaiCraft’s producer partners are over 60 artisan groups of various sizes and operational structures, of diverse backgrounds and cultures and from all regions of Thailand. They create thousands of fine hand-crafted products including: jewelry, clothing, fabrics, spa products, household items, baskets, decorations, stationary, musical instruments, learning games and more.
Some groups focus on or include people with special needs. Some others face social, political, or environmental difficulties. The rest include village cooperatives, slum projects, and small community workshops.
Third World Crafts
Third World Craft Nepal strives to promote Nepalese handicraft products to local and overseas markets thereby supporting grass roots artisans. They are a socially responsible business that practises fair trade principles ensuring prompt payment to producers and supporting their direct access to markets.
Tibetan Children's Villages
Tibetan Children’s Village (TCV) is an integrated community in exile for the care and education of orphans, and recently escaped children from Tibet. It is a registered non profit charitable institution with its main organisation based at Dharamsala-North India. TCV has many branches spread across India with over 11,000 children under its care. TCV strives to provide education to children and preserve and promote Tibetan cultural heritage.
Fair Trade Store Customers
Our customers are from all walks of life. People who shop at our store are often people who have traveled the world and want to see the products from where they have been.
“I shop fair trade because I believe in supporting people and recognizing the work that goes into making the objects and art we appreciate every day in our lives.”
“It feels good to know that your money is going to someone who will benefit, and we also feel it’s important to support craftsmanship and artistry.”
“I shop here every year especially at Christmas so the kids understand fair trade and circumstances of others around the globe. I shop here regularly for gifts and cards–they are unique, beautiful, and meaningful”