The Noah Project

Rebuilding a sustainable world.


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International Women’s Day

About IWD

How International Women’s Day Started

International Women’s Day will be celebrated tomorrow, March 8th.  If you are wondering how it got started, here’s a brief history.

In accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America, the first National Women’s Day was observed across the United States in 1909 on February 28th.

The following year at the second International Conference of Working Women, held in Copenhagen, Clara Zetkin, the leader of the ‘Women’s Office’ for the Social Democratic Party in Germany, proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day – a Women’s Day – to press for a shorter working day, better pay and voting rights. The proposal met with unanimous consent and International Women’s Day was born

Stop by the International Women’s Day site to learn about their campaign to promote International Women’s Day, their upcoming events and to avail yourself of the resources they have posted.


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Women’s Day Special

The World Fair Trade Organization is celebrating Women’s History Month with a series of podcasts featuring Fair Trade Enterprises started and run by women.

Allison Havens founded Yabal Handicrafts in Guatemala to keep alive indigenous weaving techniques and create livelihoods for local women. Today, the women producers are becoming the main income earners in their family and challenging gender norms. Her story unpacks what it means to truly prioritize local producers over increasing profits – getting to the heart of what makes an enterprise mission-led.

 

Bethlehem founded Entoto Beth in Ethiopia as a social enterprise. Today, her enterprise gives opportunities for 200 women in marginalized communities. She upcycles bullet-casings and has adopted Fair Trade to create jewelry and bags for global markets.

 


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Covilli Brand Organics inaugurates health clinic for workers

You can make a huge difference in workers’ lives by purchasing fair trade. Tad Thompson tells us how Covilli Brand Organics invests its fair trade dollars to improve the health of their workers and the community as a whole…

Earlier this year the Fair Trade program of Covilli Brand Organics Inc. inaugurated a health clinic in Triunfo de Santa Rosa, which is the village where the farm is located, about an hour from Guaymas, Sonora. The project was three years in the making.

Iris Montaño-Madrigal, Covilli’s marketing manager, said the facility offers farmworkers — and local citizens — generalized medical services and dentistry. Very soon the facility will have specialized care.

…Workers receive preference at the facility, which is also available to as many as 9,000 local citizens.

 


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Fair Trade Fortnight Helps Farmers and Their Families

Helen Mead summarizes what Fair Trade means to farmers and their families in the developing world where…

many workers face harsh living conditions, low pay and exploitation. They do not have access to even basic medical care or an education for themselves or their children.

The global Fair Trade movement helps to remedy this by providing a living income for some of the world’s poorest farmers and workers.

Fairtrade Fortnight, in the Bradford district puts this vital work in the spotlight from now until Sunday March 10.  This year also marks 25 years of Fairtrade in the UK.

Bradford district has been a Fairtrade Zone since 2006, fulfilling a range of criteria to gain this status. This includes having a variety of Fairtrade products in the area’s shops and cafes, demonstrating the use of Fairtrade products in local workplaces and establishing a local Fairtrade steering group.

Stop in if you are in the area.  Events this year include:

A Fairtrade stall in Baildon Co-op promoting Fairtrade in four local schools, a Fairtrade breakfast at Bradford Cathedral, a Fairtrade afternoon tea and chocolate tasting at St. John’s Church.


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Back on track and going strong

The 2020 elections have already started.  In their bid for office, candidates and their surrogates have spent hours of air time and columns of print on income inequality, climate change and social division. These issues are not new to the readers of The Noah Project.  We’ve been talking about them, among ourselves, for years.

In fact, The Noah Project was established over five years ago as a counterbalance to the seemingly endless  stream of negative articles about rampant consumerism, corporate predation, crony capitalism and social breakdown.  We wanted to present our readers with positive ideas they might find intriguing, initiatives they might not have been aware of and organizations they could work with to effect change.

Below the surface of all that bad news, movements were being born and nurtured; La Via Campesina, an international peasants movement working to improve the lives of millions of peasants, small and medium size farmers, landless people, rural women and youth, indigenous people, migrants and agricultural workers from around the world.  The Democracy Collaborative founded in 2000 at the University of Maryland as a research center dedicated to the pursuit of democratic renewal, increased civic participation, and community revitalization. The Fair Trade Federation, tracing its roots to the late 1970’s when individual alternative trade organizations began holding yearly conferences.  Incorporated formally as the North American Alternative Trade Organization in 1994, it changed its name to The Fair Trade Federation the following year and has been dedicated to expanding markets for artisans and farmers around the world.

We are thrilled about resuming The Noah Project and look forward to bringing you a more focused site, with more targeted content in the months and years to come. Keeping a site like this running is challenging and time consuming.  If you are interested in contributing in any way, please contact me at daniela@noahsgiftsandgallery.com


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Alternative Economy Promotes Gender Equality in Northern Syria

There is so little positive news coming out of Syria these days that I was surprised and heartened when I found this article published in Kurdishquestion.com.  Although it specifically covers the efforts in Rojava, a region in Northern Syria, to establish grassroots assemblies and cooperatives, it speaks to the larger question of how to democratise all sectors of society, including the economy.  For example, local cooperatives provide:

 …alternative means and avenues that allow traditionally marginalised groups such as women to actively participate and engage with the market…Further, this alternative model allows society to bring the lived experiences of democracy to the grassroots level by devolving and disempowering the capacity of the state to control and direct the market. But cooperatives allow the community to create jobs on the local level, produce locally sourced and generated products, create jobs that do not require specialised skills and allows unskilled workers to gain skills and access to the market.


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This Week’s New Economy News

There are a lot of interesting and exciting things happening on the new economy front this week.  This from New Zealand:

Jan. 24 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand’s top 30 cooperatives contribute more than $42.3 billion per annum to the economy in revenue, a new report has found.

The report, by industry body Cooperative Business New Zealand and researchers from Massey University and Auckland University, shows the top cooperatives and mutuals have a revenue-to-gross domestic product ratio of 17.5 percent. The data “confirms the importance of the cooperative business model to New Zealand as a country,” said Cooperative Business chief executive Craig Presland. A total of 1.4 million New Zealanders are members of cooperatives.

Yes! Magazine, always a great source for news regarding the new economy has an on-going series exploring innovative local solutions to business problems state-by-state.

In 2009, United Steelworkers … met with representatives from Spain-based Mondragon, the world’s largest worker cooperative, to develop a plan for industrial steel workers to transition into worker-ownership. Cooperatives, they believed, would put more power in the hands of workers.

The partnership sparked an idea with labor organizers in Cincinnati. And in 2012, labor representatives founded the Cincinnati Union Co-op Initiative (CUCI), a union co-op incubator that nurtures startups, aiming to create an integrated network of union co-ops that sustain and support each other.

Another interesting concept is Platform Cooperatives:

‘Just like traditional co-ops, platform co-ops are organisations that are owned and managed by their members,’ says the Open Co-op’s Oliver Sylvester-Bradley. ‘While traditional co-ops are normally based around a physical community of members, platform co-ops live online and are normally populated by online communities of members.’

If you are interested and can attend, Open 2017: Platform Cooperatives will be holding a conference in the UK on Platform Cooperatives.  The dates are February 16th and 17th. Organizers of the event promise a gathering of “thinkers, practitioners and new ideas around the digital economy.”

To find out more about the event, and for the full programe, visit 2017.open.coop