Fair Trade, Awareness. Africa’s Sustainability. Together.

FAAST. Run for a Reason.

The FAAST Fun Run 5K is a race dedicated to promoting awareness and action. Together we can make a difference. Simple acts, such as purchasing fair trade food and gift items can make dramatic changes in the lives of people across the globe. The focus of this race is Africa. Run for reason, and join the fight against poverty and inequality.  The FAAST Race supports fair trade and sustainable efforts in Africa.  Please click here to read about the importance of fair trade.

In 2009, over 130 individuals registered for the race and we raised over $2,000 to support two non-profit organizations working in Africa.  We look forward to continuing to support fair trade and sustainable efforts to improve the quality of life of individuals in Africa in 2010.  Please see our 2009 Newsletter for a summary of last year’s race.

Instead of selling T-shirts for this race, participants have the option of purchasing a fair trade canvas bag made by women in Kenya and Malawi.  Click HERE to see pictures of the bags.  Without the opportunity to make these bags, many of these women would not have a job at all.  The women are paid a fair wage for their work and income earned allows them to pay school fees for their children, buy food at the market, etc.

All proceeds generated by the FAAST FUN RUN 5K will support the following non-profit and fair trade organizations: BeadsforLife, Help Self Help Centre, Comfort the Children International, and Africabags

BeadforLife creates sustainable opportunities for women to lift their families out of extreme poverty by connecting people worldwide in a circle of exchange that enriches everyone. They make gorgeous handcrafted paper beads from recycled paper and turn them into necklaces, bracelets, and earrings.  What was trash becomes beauty, money, food, and hope. Their goal is for members to be independent of BeadforLife within 27 months by being able to support themselves within the Ugandan economy.  This is done by assisting members in launching their own small businesses or in creating new revenue streams. In addition to buying and selling the beads, BeadforLife  sponsors Community Development projects in health, vocational training for impoverished youth, affordable housing, and business development. These projects are supported with the net profits from the sale of the beads, and support not only beaders, but other impoverished people living in Uganda. Learn how to help at www.beadforlife.org

The Help Self Help Centre is committed to enhancing the living standard of forest adjacent communities in Kenya. They support sustainable entrepreneurship amongst small-holder farmers and community groups by strengthening their capacity. Specific services, such as a micro-credit facility, complement the capacity building activities. The Help Self Help Center empowers people so that they can meet their basic needs and claim their rights. Since its inception, HSHC has supported the formation of more than 280 self help groups whose capacities were strengthened in sustainable agriculture, non-wood forest products and agri-business. They aim to improve quality of life of forests-adjacent communities in Kenya through facilitation of innovative economic opportunities in sustainable agriculture and natural resource utilisation. Learn more at www.hshc.or.ke

Comfort the Children International (CTC) is about a community transforming communities by living passionately into the tension of our times. They are listening to the stories, addressing the problems, and promoting fundamental human rights. Providing hope through relationships CTC is empowering our world. They share in the lives of local communities building mutual understanding and sustainable change. Their education programs, economic projects, health care, community development and environmental awareness are creating a better tomorrow. CTC’s logo is the handprint. When you meet a stranger it is with the hand that you reach out and connect. So too it is with the hand that CTC reaches out and connects with individuals, communities, and especially the world’s future…children. The hand also serves as the template for their 5 initiatives: community, education, environment, health and economy. Like the fingers on a hand all 5 initiatives are interrelated which is why CTC’s approach to community development is holistic. Become AWARE, get INVOLVED, make a DIFFERENCE at ctcinternational.org

AfricaBags is a non-profit organization doing charitable work over in Malawi, Africa.  They sell reusable cloth shopping bags that are hand-crafted in five small villages in northern Malawi. Africa Bags has entered into ultra poor villages in northern Malawi with foot-powered treadle sewing machines, cloth, and all the materials/resources necessary for the Malawians to produce reusable cloth shopping bags.  These bags are sold back in the United States and 100% of all profits are returned to the villages. Africa Bags works by thre basic tenets: to economically empower the people of Malawi Africa with a sustainable economy, to reduce the use of plastic shopping bags, and to expand a charity that gives back 100% of its profit to the poorest communities of Malawi. See http://africabags.org/




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