In his State of the Union address, President Obama praised the millions of Americans who are helping strangers in Haiti with quake relief efforts that extend from high profile celebrity telethons to boxes of first aid supplies. Our sister company, eco-retailer VivaTerra, has joined in the effort by donating up to $10,000 in profits from the sale of its Haitian-made products to aid 500 artisans and their families.
The money will be sent directly to Caribbean Craft, an organization set up to employ and give assistance to the talented crafts people who produce some of VivaTerra’s most loved products from a fair-trade workshop in Port-au-Prince. These original crafts include uplifting holiday angels to papier mache birds and oil drum tree-of-life sculptures.
“At VivaTerra, our first instinct has been to do whatever we can to help in the wake of one of the worst conceivable tragedies in memory,” says Bonnie Trust Dahan, a founding partner of the company. “The terrible devastation has struck close to home and we’ve learned form preliminary reports that it claimed the lives of at least four of the artisans in [our] workshops, as well as their families.”
The materials they employ in their designs – recycled newspapers, discarded oil drums and emptied cement bags – help fulfill VivaTerra’s mission of reducing waste and reusing our abundant resources to heal the planet. That mission began when the company was founded in 2004 with the commitment to encourage local artisans with a retail site and product catalog that would provide an audience for their imaginative handmade creations. Haiti is among the several countries worldwide where VivaTerra has formed bonds with local artisan workshops where a future of hope comes in the form of the fair trade industry.