Ten Thousand Villages…


A few years back, I was delighted as daily messages arrived in my inbox from my children’s grandmother…as she described their amazing trip to Africa.

I wasn’t entirely impressed that they went at Christmas as our traditions were changing and I love the idea of having everyone near…even though they DID send a lovely photo on Christmas morning wearing santa hats!

And the following note:

“Merry Christmas from the banks of the Kavongo River on the border of Angola at a beautiful lodge with peacocks roaming the grounds and a resident horse! No silent night here. Between the frogs and other river creatures, the night crickets and insects, the chanting, drumming and singing in the villages across the border that started about 5 am and the crazy bird calls that started at dawn, it was as exotic as Christmas in Africa should be!”

And then I was just completely jealous and thought that yeah, Christmas in Africa would be pretty amazing!

Upon arriving home, I heard wonderful stories and saw striking photos of their travels. And…we received a great many gifts including a bracelet I’m particularly fond of…with beautiful beads and handcrafted by a group of women working with a fair trade retailer.

This year, when I received a beautiful gift in the mail from the folks at Ten Thousand Villages…a silver cuff and the most beautiful knit grey scarf…I already knew who they were.

Ten Thousand Villages is a non-profit organization who believes in Fair Trade. As stated on their website “People are truly at the heart of what we do. Our desire is to help give artisans the hope, dignity, joy and respect that come from earning a decent living. We purchase products from more than 100 different artisan groups in 29 countries, giving them fair value for their work.”

By purchasing from the Ten Thousand Villages line, you’re giving back TEN FOLD! The products are quality made and beautiful…and you’re helping a parent in another country put food on their table…which to me is win win. From what I understand, 7 of 10 artisans are single moms…creating a better life them themselves and their children.

I took a peek at their website and here are a few of my favourites:

Snowflake bowl


Desert Spring Crinkle Scarf


Cozy Colours Wool Socks


The catalogue is filled with multiple items and there’s still plenty of time to have your gifts in time for Christmas!

The holidays are such a time of hope…and purchasing a gift from Ten Thousand Villages, is one way to give Hope to someone who truly deserves it.