Updated: Dec 4, 2020
What does Fair Trade mean to us here at Lumago and how does it impact this community?
I've lived in the southern Philippines for 6 years now, alongside the incredible mother artisans of Lumago Designs. My journey here so far has opened my eyes to the extreme poverty, inequality and injustice of marginalised communities in this country and I realised my own privileges and educational advances through the sheer luck of my upbringing enabled me the chance to give back through Fair Trade.
Lumago offers livelihood plus..... The plus is often invisible but is about giving women confidence, pride, affirmation, independence, space and acknowledgment. It is also a space for them to learn in a non-judgmental setting about the environment, nutrition, child care, self care and many other daily topics of personal growth.
According to Ban Ki-moon, former secretary-general of the United Nations, saving our planet, lifting people out of poverty, advancing economic growth... are all one and the same fight. We must connect the dots between climate change, water scarcity, energy shortages, global health, food security and women's empowerment. Solutions to one problem must be solutions for all.
Lumago Design's commitment to our artisans and their greater community is borne out through our social contract with the Lumago ladies. We enable them by providing: Fair living wages, a flexible work-from-home environment, a reliable & consistent income, skills training, educational workshops, social benefit programs, healthcare assistance and medications.
"Enabling" implies that people cannot "be empowered" by others; they can only empower themselves. Encouraging women to see their worth through their craft is one of the many ways we enable our artisans to empower themselves, passing on their skills and their confidence to the next generation. Creating a support network with each other is one of the most treasured aspects of what the Lumago ladies have achieved in the last decade. Together we are stronger.
The assistance we provide to our artisans enables them to be independent women, to look after their children and ensure they have access to education, nutritious food and healthcare, to be a voice in their community for environmental awareness, and to have meaningful work opportunities where they can be proud of their creations and the means provided by their work.
One of our mentors, Helen Mitchell, a social worker in the Northern Philippines recently enlightened us with her thoughts of Lumago: "Lumago offers livelihood plus..... The plus is often invisible but is about giving women confidence, pride, affirmation, independence, space and acknowledgment. It is also a space for them to learn in a non-judgmental setting about the environment, nutrition, child care, self care and many other daily topics of personal growth."
At World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO) they believe that Fair Trade is more than just trading. It is a tangible contribution to the fight against poverty, climate change and economic crisis.
Fair Trade is more than just trading. It highlights the need for change in the rules and practice of conventional commerce and shows how a business can be successful while putting people first.
Fair Trade is more than just trading. It is a value system that makes it easy for conscientious consumers to shop their values because you know you’re getting a product where social, economic and environmental impacts have been considered throughout the entire production process.
If these values speak to you, if they resonate in your conscience and consciousness, if you know the simple act of buying a product has downstream effects on people half a world away, I invite you to be a part of the movement, make a difference in the lives of craftspeople; I invite you to #BeadTheChange we wish to see in the world.