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Fair trade organization gives students chance to buy from foreign artisans

Seton Hall will play host to the 10,000 Villages Fair Trade Fair on Nov. 18 as part of the Division of Volunteer Efforts Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week.

The fair will take place in the Main Lounge from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

10,000 Villages is a fair trade organization that works with artisans and craftsmen in over 70 countries around the world.

"Fair trade eliminates the third party manufacturer; money from consumers will go straight back to the artisans," Kathleen Walsh, a sophomore on the DOVE committee for Hunger and Homelessness Week said.

In addition, 10,000 Villages is a nonprofit organization that assists artisans in getting their products to an appropriate market.

"The Fair Trade Fair is something that will target international poverty while at the same time is a celebration of life," Walsh said. "It celebrates the culture of the area and facilitates that culture to grow through the sale itself."

Walsh, a Diplomacy major, learned about fair trade in her classes and is interested in how it helps alleviate international poverty and injustice.
Cassie Denbow, a freshman, is also involved with fair trade.

"I first became interested and involved with Fair Trade after a trip to El Salvador where I got to talk to six different Fair Trade organizations," Denbow said. Like Walsh, she also sees the importance of Fair Trade in the world.

"It is much more than simply a tool for gaining economic equality," Denbow said. "It helps with many critical world problems including the environment, poverty and world hunger."

Peter Stemp, a graduate assistant in DOVE, also came into contact with the effects of Fair Trade in El Salvador.

"I volunteered at a small NGO and saw in the rural villages how they were affected by the current economic crisis," Stemp said. "Students at Seton Hall are generally well-informed about global events and the fair is another way they can respond to hunger and homelessness."

At the fair, many items will be available for students to purchase anything from jewelry and scarves to musical instruments.

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"Something I think is really cool is that there will be a table of just musical instruments from the different countries," Walsh said.

The goal of the Fair is to sell over $2,000 of the $4,000 worth of products that will be made available to students to purchase.

"There will be a station where students can make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for donation to the hungry right outside the Fair, which is good because they are two events for the same thing," Walsh said.

Students are also able to purchase Fair Trade products at all the other events going on during Hunger and Homelessness Week.

At each event there will be a table with a small portion of the goods available for purchase.

Jenna Berg can be reached at


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