Injabulo and Fair Trade
You never know where life will take you and when Chrissie Sherwood went to South Africa with her husband in 1997 little did she know that over a decade later she would be running her own successful company in the UK, that helps make the lives of people in South Africa so much better.
Whilst there Chrissie and her husband Roger met wonderful, kind people who were living in abject poverty but would do anything for you - and always with a huge smile! Seeing people carrying big pieces of cardboard and pallets to make their house and the toll that AIDS and HIV were taking made them decide to help and eighteen months after returning to the UK Injabulo was founded.
The way to help was to use the talents of the people - extremely creative, they can make something out of nothing and have an intrinsic eye for colour.
Injabulo now works with established empowerment projects and small businesses through South Africa and Ghana. It has always been important to Chrissie that she could see fair trade policies in action and that whoever the producers are they should all be treated very fairly and be given a chance to improve their lifestyle by learning or developing a skill. This in turn means that they are given the opportunity to enrich and improve their own lives and that of their families.
In addition Injabulo work with Pebbles Project, a charity in the Cape Winelands helping children born with special needs as a result of Foetal Alchohol Spectrum Disorder and currently sponsor two children; their sponsorship pays for specialist teacher training and crèche places for the children.
Fair Trade means lots of things to different people.
To us it is the basis for making a difference to the lives of people by adhering to the following principles:
Treating people, however disadvantaged, with respect - for their lifestyle, their culture and their skill and giving them the opportunity to earn a real living with dignity and pride.
Paying a fair price for their goods, which means that we get top quality
Helping them to learn new skills and extend their abilities by introducing them to new ways to use their present skills and new ideas for products.
Passing on feedback from customers to give them encouragement and self belief.
Working with small businesses, not for profit organisations and co-operatives to make a real difference to the lives of the workers and their usually large extended families
To have a platform available to showcase any new products and artists that we come across in our travels in Africa.
To work with our chosen charity " Pebbles Project" and do what we can to raise the profile of this worthwhile charity and raise funds through various means therefore enabling us to sponsor many children.
To have an "open door" policy - we have nothing to hide - only pleasure and pride in sending you information about the people that make the products that we sell.
To build genuine hope for a better future for all
Our products do not carry the Fair Trade logo as the cooperatives, organisations and businesses that we trade with are all very small - sometime "one man Bands" that we have found. Where we can, we ensure that all of our products are labelled with details of their origin and very often the name of the artist who has made it.