CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Shoppers are keeping hope alive for hundreds of impoverished children around the world when purchasing products at Hope Village.
The shop, full of fair trade items from almost every corner of the globe, is located at the First Presbyterian Church in Charleston. One hundred percent of proceeds benefit artisans through the Fair Trade Federation, a nonprofit trade association.
This is the 18th year the Presbyterian Church, located at the corner of Virginia Street and Leon Sullivan Way, has played host to a global market. The market was named Global Marketplace until 2012 when it was renamed Hope Village.
"The items must be fair trade in order for us to sell them," said Mary Kay Boyle, church member and director of Hope Village. "The artisans and organizations we accept products from must do something else to better the lives of children around the world."
Hope Village features products from a variety of international locations — Uganda, Palestine, India, as well as several African nations. The church partners with 8 different organizations.
African Team Ministries provides jewelry and wood carvings, many with animal themes that are made with stones native to Africa. African Team Ministries' proceeds go to churches fostering orphans and refugees.
Baskets of Africa provides baskets woven by African craftspeople. The organization promotes weavers from many African nations in order to help the weavers with economic development.
"We are blessed to have these baskets," Boyle said. "The man who began the organization lived and worked in Africa for years. He does incredible work and these baskets are absolutely beautiful."
Dorcas Widows provides jewelry to Hope Village. The ministry is based in Uganda and is composed of widows who care for more than 400 orphaned children. This support group helps widows with income-generating activities, emergency rent, food and health care, as well as emotional and spiritual support.
Pal Craft Aid is located in Palestine and contributes needlework on scarves, shawls and purses. Olive wood crosses, sculptures and nativity sets are also provided by the nonprofit that assist in acquiring an education for deaf children, food and medical care to the elderly.
Global Mamas' products provide dignity to African women who are now able to earn a living through the production of handmade batik apparel and accessories, beads, jewelry, skin care products and recycled accessories.
Zatoun assists farmers in Palestine through the Palestine Fair Trade Association. The organization produces olive oil, which is made from top grade, organically grown olives. Zatoun has been able to plant almost 28,000 olive trees in the West Bank. Also available is the spice mix Za'atar.
"I had the pleasure to travel to Palestine a few years ago and help pick olives for Zatoun," Boyle said. "The olive oil we have is this year's crop and Zatoun means olive in Arabic."
Boyle said she sticks the bottles of olive oil into a hand-woven bag, which is a product of MayaWorks.