Ten Thousand Villages Canada announces collaboration with Breakfast for Learning & invites Canadians to give a gift that gives back this Holiday season

New Hamburg, ON (Nov. 6, 2013) – With statistics from the Conference Board of Canada revealing that 1 in 7 Canadian school-age children are living in poverty and 1 in 3 attend classes hungry, Ten Thousand Villages Canada is taking fair trade practices one step further this Holiday season. Ten Thousand Villages is joining forces with Breakfast for Learning in fighting back against child hunger here in Canada as well as overseas through its global network of artisans. This November and December 2013, two dollars from each purchase of their fairly traded Angel ornament will be donated to Breakfast for Learning, one of Canada’s leading national charities dedicated to child nutrition programs.

Simply Beautiful.

This delicate, handcrafted Angel, exclusive to Ten Thousand Villages Canada, nourishes body and soul. Artisans from Saffy Handicrafts in the Philippines use the translucent, off-white capiz shell of the windowpane oyster and shimmering painted wire to give each ornament her exquisite look. The gift box from Get Paper Industries in Nepal, a cooperative of 125 artisans, is crafted from handmade paper and non-toxic dyes.

“This beautiful Angel makes a truly thoughtful teacher, hostess or corporate gift, adding a touch of sparkle to Holiday décor and an opportunity to address two important issues: global justice through fair trade, and childhood hunger here at home,” said Holly deGraaf, Director, Retail Operations and Public Relations at Ten Thousand Villages. “Now, fair trade is not only helping to provide artisans’ children with healthy meals, but will support school-based breakfast, lunch and snack programs for Canadian children as well.”

Simply Fair.

Community Development is one of the 10 principles essential to fair trade, as outlined by the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO). With 66 million children across the developing world attending classes hungry, the need is great. Saffy Handicrafts (Social Action for Filipino Youth) located in the Philippines, was founded by a Belgian nun in 1966 to create alternative sources of livelihood for impoverished women and youth. Today, Saffy Handicrafts employs over 1,000 people. These artisans benefit not only from a fair wage and safe working conditions, but also receive access to educational seminars, vocational training, financial and medical assistance, and profit sharing opportunities.

“We are passionate about investing in children and are thrilled to join Breakfast for Learning in achieving their vision of giving children the best chance of success in life,” shares deGraaf.

The Angel ornament will be available in Ten Thousand Villages locations across Canada and online on November 1, 2013.

###

About Ten Thousand Villages

For more than 65 years, Ten Thousand Villages has been establishing long-term buying relationships in places where skilled artisans lack opportunities for stable income. The commitment to support artisans around the globe is strengthened through fair trade compensation practices that include cash advances and prompt payments.
Ten Thousand Villages is a non-profit program of Mennonite Central Committee Canada, one of the country’s largest international relief and development agencies. The organization deliberately marries the concept of fair trade with healthy and environmentally sustainable business practices. From store operations to product sourcing to marketing practices, Ten Thousand Villages strives to meet the “triple bottom line” of economic, environmental and social sustainability.

Founded in 1946, Ten Thousand Villages has grown from the trunk of founder Edna Ruth Byler’s car to a network of more than 120 retail outlets and 150 festival sales throughout North America. Ten Thousand Villages is an exceptional source for unique handmade gifts, jewellery, home decor, art, sculpture and personal accessories made by artisans in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. One of the world’s largest fair trade organizations and a founding member of the World Fair Trade Organization, Ten Thousand Villages strives to improve the livelihood of tens of thousands of disadvantaged artisans in 35 countries. Product sales help pay for food, education, healthcare and housing for artisans who would otherwise be unemployed or underemployed. For more information, visit www.tenthousandvillages.ca

About Breakfast for Learning

Breakfast for Learning (BFL) was founded in 1992 as the first and most comprehensive national organization in Canada dedicated to the direct support of school nutrition programs and the healthy development of children and youth. Knowing that when a child is hungry, it’s hard to learn, Breakfast for Learning’s mission is to ensure that every child in Canada attends school well-nourished and ready to learn.

Having served over 400 million meals, Breakfast for Learning champions a made-in-Canada model that brings together private, public and volunteer sectors to provide food in caring, community-centered programs. In the 2012/13 school year, Breakfast for Learning helped serve almost 54 million meals to more than 349,500 students in almost 3, 400 nutrition programs across the country.

Working to empower communities to start and sustain child nutrition programs, Breakfast for Learning offers nutrition grants, nutrition education materials, equipment funding and award- winning best practices tools. Breakfast for Learning also supports ongoing child nutrition education that demonstrates the link between proper nutrition and learning.

For more information, visit www.breakfastforlearning.ca