Visiting Nepal in 2013 inspired Qinnie to start Oz Fair Trade, to support local businesses and promote Fair Trade products as an ethical and budget friendly alternative.
I have no doubt that many of us are thinking right now how we can best help Nepal following the tragic earthquake that killed thousands and left many injured and without shelter. As someone who has loved Nepal for many years and sponsored a Nepalese girl for three years through World Vision, I feel their pain and suffering. I am confident that they will rebuild quickly, because they are some of the most hard working and resilient people I’ve ever met. But Nepal is one of the world’s poorest countries and they need our support right now. The question is, how can ordinary Australians help them?
As a long term supporter of sustainable poverty alleviation and founder of Oz Fair Trade, I’ve always preferred trade to aid. However, in times of crisis, money is king. But what happens after the immediate crisis? How do we help them to rebuild?
A simple idea came to my mind. What if we could do both?
When I was in Nepal in 2013, I visited three Word Fair Trade Organisation certified producer groups and was very impressed with the quality and design of their products. Some of their products have since been selling on Oz Fair Trade’s website. Oz Fair Trade is a small charity that I founded in 2013 with the aim of promoting and selling fair trade accessories, home-wares and gift ware in Australia. I intend to showcase these beautiful products and tell the stories of the people behind the products. By doing so, I hope to promote fair trade as a budget friendly and ethical alternative to mass produced products, and help to alleviate poverty in a sustainable way in some of the world’s poorest countries.
Nepal needs aid right now, and needs demand for their products down the track. The best way I can help them is to give them both.
I am proposing this: for every purchase that is made from the Nepal product range on Oz Fair Trade’s website between now and Mother’s Day, 50% of the profit will be donated to World Vision’s Nepal Earthquake Appeal, and the other 50% will be used to purchase more fair trade products from Nepal. This way, your gifts to mum will be super special. Not only will they bring a smile to her face, but also help Nepal to deal with the immediate crisis and to rebuild sustainably in the long term.