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Ten Thousand Villages provides vital, fair income to Third World people by marketing their handicrafts and telling their stories in North America. Ten Thousand Villages works with artisans who would otherwise be unemployed or under-employed. This income helps pay for food, education, health care or housing.
As a non-profit fair trade retail store, we market quality products from diverse cultures around the world made by people that we know and care enough about to do business with in a manner that together we consider fair. We trade with artisan groups who pay fair wages and demonstrate concern for their members' welfare. We provide consistent purchases, advances and prompt final payments to artisans. We market quality products that are hand-crafted (no factories) by under-employed artisans. We choose handicrafts that reflect and reinforce rich cultural traditions, that are environmentally sensitive and which appeal to the North American consumer. We encourage North American customers to learn about fair trade and to appreciate artisans' cultural heritage and life circumstances with joy and respect. We use resources carefully and value volunteers who work in our North American operations.