Why Now is the Most Important Time to Support Fair Trade | #buildbackfairer
The other day I was having a chat to one of our lovely wholesale customers in Australia. We were discussing how desperate the situation in India is at the moment. She mentioned that it seems more important than ever to support Fair Trade.
This is so true in so many different ways.
We have been so fortunate in Australia. Life seems to be so normal we easily forget the bigger picture. Lockdowns and travel restrictions have separated communities world wide, making it even easier to detach ourselves from awful situations.
We need to remember we are still a global community and we all need to work together to End Covid for All.
We can not let our brothers and sisters in other countries plumet into poverty. We must continue to fight for what is right and put our money in places that we know will uplift others.
Increases in Child Labor
Children have become more vulnerable in a multitude of ways. Although necessary, lockdowns are forcing children to not attend school to get the education they need. Parents are unable to work to get food on the table and deaths of parents and family members mean children are being orphaned.
"In a country that already has an estimated 20 million orphans, the virus is adding to those ranks with speed. Their parents are dying in hospitals or homes across the country, and newly-orphaned children wait, alone, for help." SBS article
There are also fears of these orphaned children being sold...
Lockdowns over the past year have been "damaging for children's mental health, and it increases the threat to their protection and education as children out of school can face an increased risk of abuse" Save the Children article.
There are strong predictions that India’s poverty rate could rise by up to 0.6% with limited control measures in place for at least 12 months (i.e. social distancing, limiting gatherings, hygiene practices), and increase by almost 7% if strict control measures are introduced (lockdowns, school closures, banning events, ect).
Many cities in India have had to impose strict control measures due to increased cases and healthcare being completely overrun. People are unable to work and they are not getting any subsidies from the government to help lessen the impact of unemployment.
Predictions from last year state that global poverty is likely to be pushed back 30 years of progress in regional areas.
Even after surviving the virus, individuals are being left with huge medical bills that they can't afford. Many have had to take out loans leaving them in debt. This debt will add to the surge of individuals falling into poverty.
Anna Mary, from one of the artisan groups we support was left with a Rs 350,000 ($6153 AUD) medical bill after having to go to a private hospital in order to survive. To put that in perspective the median yearly wage in India is approx. $2125 AUD . The economic fallout as a result of COVID is likely to be felt for years.
So Where Does Fair Trade Come Into This?
Supporting Fair Trade is a practical way you can help #buildbackfairer.
Fair Trade guarantees to protect children, not employ or enslave them. Fair Trade also helps individuals earn a living fair wage and assists in crucial education that assist in breaking the chain of poverty.
When you buy Fair Trade there are mutual benefits to small businesses in Australia as well as the producers who make the products. Although we have been so lucky in Australia I know so many small businesses that are struggling right now. To continue to support Fair Trade we need support from you also. Every little bit counts.
Read more about the benifits of supporting Fair Trade here: upliftfairtrade.com.au/blogs/fair-trade-stories-case-studies/the-benefits-of-buying-fair-trade-products. If you don't have the money to buy there are other ways you can help support us and other Fair Trade businesses you can read here: How to Support Small Businesses (Without Spending a Cent).
#FairTradeLocal helps #BuildBackFairer (WFTO Campaign)
WFTO (World Fair Trade Organisation) brought out a statement last septemeber about how things can not go back to the way they used to pre pandemic and we need to #buildbackfairer to work towards a fairer more sustainable recovery post pandemic.
Sign the pledge https://www.endcovidforall.com/
In loving memory
Our condolences for the lovely Amaravathi, President of Jone Pryadarshini Manila Mandal (JPMM), a woman's society in Bethany Leprosy Colony who sadly passed away from COVID this week. We remember meeting this amazing lady. Strength, brightness and resilience was what she exhibited. She survived leprosy even though she lost parts of her feet and led groups of women on how to stand strong against domestic violence in her village. She will be missed and our thoughts are with her friends and family.
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