on October 29, 2015 by test_editor in Archive_2015, Coming Events, October, Print Articles, Comments Off on October 29, 2015: Village to Village; Keeping it fair.

October 29, 2015: Village to Village; Keeping it fair.

October 29, 2015: Village to Village;
Keeping it fair.

By Victoria McTaggart.

It was Mahatma Gandhi who said, “India is not to be found in its few cities but in the 70,000 villages.”

“The notion of living and working locally is having a greater influence on choices people are making in their daily lives,” says Westboro resident Teilo Moore. “My wife Marianna and I walk everywhere in Westboro Village; we prefer to shop at local businesses and every week you can find us at the farmer’s market in Byron Park.”

Teilo is one of many in the village who believe that viable, sustainable local businesses create healthy and safe communities. Most Sundays you can find him at the Ten Thousand Villages store on Richmond Road. Teilo believes that local support can have global reach; he has been the Sunday store manager for four years. He is so committed to that principle that he is now chair of the Ottawa Alternative Trade Corporation, the non-profit organization that operates the Ten Thousand Villages store in Ottawa. And to complete his story, he met his now wife, Marianna, when they were volunteering together at the store.

Ten Thousand Villages has been a proud part of the business community for over 15 years – and in a unique way. The store relies on local volunteers to support its mission to promote fair trade in Canada. “The people that I encounter when I am working – managers, volunteers, and the customers – are all wonderful to be around. It feels as though we have a strong camaraderie, all of us joined by our commitment to fair trade. People are very interested in making choices that help people around the globe. It is so easy to get caught up in the small part of the world we see every day, and it can be difficult to remember that our actions – down to every purchase we make – have a much farther reach than we are sometimes aware. Volunteering at Ten Thousand Villages makes me feel good about our community, and continues to show me that many people are trying to become more aware of the effects we have on a global level,” says Teilo.

The commitment to provide artisans around the world with an opportunity to sell their products and earn a fair income resonates with another group of committed volunteers across town in Alta Vista.

The Ottawa Mennonite Church (OMC) has held its annual Fair Trade Festival Sale for over 40 years.

Every year the entire church building is transformed into a global marketplace during the month of November, selling products from artisan communities in 30 countries. Every product carries the stories of the year after year struggles of communities to get enough clean water, to keep schools open, to deal with health challenges.

The Festival Sale is a tradition for many Ottawa families and it was their desire to be able to shop fair trade year round that led OMC to bring the Ten Thousand Villages store to Ottawa.

From Westboro to Alta Vista to the countless villages across the globe, people are working to make their communities better places to live and work. These people, like Teilo, can take pride in their work and in the places that they live. With the simple act of choosing to buy fair trade in our own communities, we can give others the ability to grow their own communities, and improve all of our lives.

Readers can shop for fair trade products – gifts, personal accessories, home décor and Christmas decorations – at the Ottawa Mennonite Church, 1830 Kilborn Ave., every Friday and Saturday in November. Or year round at the Ten Thousand Villages store at 371 Richmond Road.
Check them out at http://www.alternativetrade.com/festival.htm , https://Facebook.com/VillagesOttawa , and on
Twitter: @VillagesOttawa.

man beside wall sized sign saying "ten thousand villages"

Villager Volunteer

Photo Caption: Westboro Villager, and ardent volunteer Teilo Moore at the Ten Thousand Villages store in Westboro prepares for the Ottawa Mennonite Church’s Fair Trade Festival to be held throughout November. Photo by Victoria McTaggart.

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