Today is World Fair Trade Day!
And what better example of fair trade than Desert Embroidery, the Association for the Improvement of Women's Status, begun by the women in the Bedouin town Lakia.
The women in the association do fine traditional embroidery by hand.
Each works in her home and then brings her creations to the center to be finished into products that are sold in their shop.
To quote their website:
In the 1980's, a group of Bedouin girls got together to improve life in their village. In 1996 the Association for the Improvement of Women's Status achieved official recognition as the first Bedouin women's non-profit organization in Southern Israel.
Today we run a successful embroidery program to generate income for Bedouin women and preserve traditional handicrafts. We operate a mobile library serving over 1,500 children, as well as educational programs for women and youth. We invite you to visit the Desert Embroidery Visitor Center or browse the fine handmade embroidery products we offer.
The colors and patterns handed down over the generations tell a unique story, depending on how they are blended; that is why each young Bedouin woman embroiders a dress of her own to tell her own life story.
Please take a look at the website which explains what the brave women of Lakia have accomplished.
Your heart will swell.
UPDATE: This paragraph tells fascinating things about the symbolism of Bedouin embroidery!
(Linking to Our World Tuesday.)