On the evening of October 26, Ten Thousand Villages and the PTPL Board
welcomed family and friends to our first Community Shopping event.
Ten Thousand Villages is a non-profit organization that partners with international workshops, co-ops and small artisan groups ~ including coffee growers in Eastern Congo and a sewing school in Kinshasa ~ to provide livelihoods for disadvantaged peoples. The value of all Ten Thousand Villages’ items is increased by their maker’s personal stories of resilience in the face of war, poverty and discrimination. Our shared missions made for immediate bonding as attendees mingled and purchased early holiday gifts ~ unique items that give twice or even three times!
The event turned into a mini Board retreat and brain-storming session. Here were hand-make items ~ fragrant soaps, bags crafted from bright Congolese prints, toys created from recycled items ~ similar to those created by PTPL trained soap makers or tailors, or beloved by primary school boys. And dream big, we did. Why not host a Congolese festival as our next event with Ten Thousand Villages? We could invite artists, musicians, or performers to join with us to raise awareness of Congo culture and the struggle her people face daily.
As Co-Founder Bahekelwa Imatha reported, “our goal was to have more visibility to the public… to connect us and (by) opening the door with a worldwide organization.” To this end, the event was a great success.