A SERRV artisan takes pride in her work.
By Michelle Scott Okabayashi*
October 18, 2012—SERRV is the United Methodist Committee on Relief’s (UMCOR) newest partner in fair trade. It assists impoverished artisans and farmers by helping them find a wider market for their products while receiving a fair wage for their work.
As Christmas approaches, UMCOR and SERRV are joining together to encourage United Methodist churches to host SERRV fair-trade consignment sales among their pre-Christmas events.
By doing so, churches will directly support artisans and farmers in 34 countries. Shoppers can feel good about their purchases because they will know that they are truly helping the people who crafted the items.
SERRV has resources available, including an online guide and information on the SERRV website to assist churches and organizations interested in hosting such a sale. Visit www.serrv.org/umcor or call 1.888,294.9657 to start planning a sale in your church this Christmas season.
SERRV works with organizations like St. Mary's in Ahmedbad, Gujarat, India. The group offers local women the opportunity to work from home, where they create beautiful embroidered goods. This is important, as many women in this region of India can not work outside of the home.
Earning an income helps the women grow in pride and dignity as they contribute financially to the household. Many join in St. Mary’s savings plan so they can pay the school fees for their children and help their families.
SERRV works closely with St. Mary’s to consult in product design and to help them with other business aspects. A SERRV intern recently visited St. Mary’s to help the group calculate wages to ensure the artisans were paid fairly for their work.
There will be more opportunity to learn about SERRV during the final week of 10-Fold, which will focus on fair trade. Be sure to click and be counted to trigger a $1.00 donation that supports UMCOR fair-trade programs.
There will be videos and interactive events throughout the week of October 28 to give you an opportunity to learn more about fair trade and SERRV.
You can also learn how to host a consignment sale through this UMCOR video and share information about the organization through this church bulletin insert.
*Michelle Scott Okabayashi is a writer and a regular contributor to www.umcor.org.