Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day 2008 - Poverty

It's Blog action day today - what's it all about?
Today, Bloggers unite and will publish posts that discuss poverty in some way. By all posting on the same day we aim to change the conversation that day, to raise awareness, start a global discussion and add momentum to an important cause. And from discussion springs action.

So today I thought I'd tell you about what I am starting to do to make a difference in the world, through my creations. Maybe my actions will encourage others to look and see what actions they can take.....

I've recently decided to join Nest. Nest is a nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the lives of women in developing countries.

The mission of Nest is to support women artists and artisans in the developing world by helping them create sustainable entrepreneurial businesses. To do this, Nest provides micro-credit loans to be used for the purchase of the supplies and materials necessary to begin and/or maintain art or craft-based businesses.

Micro-credit loans are a financial innovation that allows poor women the opportunity to become self-sufficient by providing them with small business loans to create sustainable entrepreneurial businesses.

Since the inception of micro-credit in early 1970s, loans of this type, made to women, have had remarkable success. Women are more likely to both repay their loans and devote their earnings to assisting the family. Furthermore, when women are given the opportunity to create their own businesses and earn a stable income, their social standing in the family and in the community improves. By giving women the tools they need to provide for their families, micro-credit loans give stability and hope to families and communities.

The women who will benefit from Nest live in developing countries and face many hardships. And when women are poor or undernourished, children and families are also deprived, resulting in a cycle of poverty that is difficult to break. You can read about some of the women who have received microloans from Nest on the website

There are a few ways I will get involved with Nest. The first way is that I will join their "Shop to save the world" event. I will have an open studio day at the end of November - Sunday 30th November and a percentage of all that I take that day will be donated to Nest. Anyone who visits me that day, will be encouraged to 'shop to save the world', so that gifts they may buy for Christmas presents will also help fight poverty for women in developing countries.

As an ongoing project with Nest, I will select a couple of my pieces - pieces that I make more of one of - like the "you are the missing piece" bracelet - and everytime I sell one of these, I will donate 25% of the sale price to Nest.

And thirdly, Nest are going to have sales on their website, where a proportion of all items sold through them will again go to Nest.

So, I'm hoping to make a difference through my creations. Is there a way you can help?

Are you are the missing piece?....

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