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  • Ten Thousand Villages Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts that Make a Difference

    Posted on July 2, 2014

    Every gift from Ten Thousand Villages makes a profound difference in the life of the artisan who crafted it. Some products, however, connect more deeply at the heart level. Here is our list of gifts that make a difference in ways words cannot express.


    Sari Shop Slouchy Bag.  Artisan women in Saidpur, Bangladesh create this unique bag, innovatively pieced from recycled sari fabric. They earn a fair income but more importantly, they find value and worth in their families and communities. Through their partnership with Action Bag, a Ten Thousand Villages artisan partner, the artisan women can also participate in classes on literacy, nutrition and legal rights. Suggested retail price, $59.

    To access a high-resolution image, click here.


    Twin Girl Doll. A purchase of this doll not only provides a gift for a loved one; its “twin” will be given to a child in a family affected by HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe, most of whom have no other toys. The dolls are part of a unique project of Batsiranai, a women’s handicraft project that supports mothers with disabled children in Harare, Zimbabwe. Women work in teams to make the dolls, sharing tasks according to their ability.

    The “twin” for your doll is distributed in one of a number of ways. Some dolls are shared through organizations working with needy families affected by HIV in the greater Harare area.  Suggested retail price, $28.

    To access a high-resolution image, click here.


    Sari Flower Sun Hat. This cool and airy hat, hand-woven from hemp and decorated with a pop of woven color will have you dreaming of springtime. For the women artisans who craft the colorful flower, their work has them dreaming of new lives and hope for the future. The flower is made by Sacred Mark workshop artisans, women who have escaped from the sex trade and now make a living making soap and handicrafts. Handcrafted in Bangladesh. Suggested retail price, $29.

    To access a high-resolution image, click here.


    Guardian Angel Ornament. Women working at the Batsiranai Craft Project, based in a highly-populated township outside of Harare known as Dzivarasekwa, create these sweet angel ornaments. “Batsiranai” translates as “helping each other.” The project supports mothers with severely disabled children living under challenging circumstances. In addition to living with extreme poverty, these families often suffer from stigma related to local beliefs regarding the origins of disabilities. Added to the stigma, many are living with HIV/AIDS (25 percent of Zimbabwe’s population lives with HIV/AIDS). The Batsiranai income generation project allows women to work near their homes, and thus support the needs of their families and to be available to care for their disabled child.  Suggested retail price, $4.

    To access a high-resolution image, click here.


    Resurrection Tree Necklace. Rajana artisans symbolically resurrect life from the damage of war. This handcrafted tree is made from one of the many bomb casings still found across Cambodia. War in Cambodia littered the landscape with bomb casings and unexploded bombs. These casings are collected by a demining agency and transformed by artisans with Rajana. “When we make jewelry [like this] then we know our country has peace,” said one young silversmith. Suggested retail price, $39.

    To access a high-resolution image, click here.


    Gift of Reading Sari Bookmark. Lovingly stitched by the artisans of Sacred Mark, this bookmark helps improve the lives of women who have broken away from the sex trade and now make their living by transforming recycled sari cotton into colorful art. Because this bookmark is made from authentic sari material, you can be assured that each one is unique. Handcrafted in Bangladesh. Suggested retail price, $8.

    To access a high-resolution image, click here.


    City Garden Tote Bag. Practical beauty—a durable, versatile, striped shoulder bag from women artisans of Bethany Colony, a MESH workshop. Artisans employed at Bethany Colony are former leprosy patients or their families. The social stigma of leprosy remains in India today; Bethany Colony allows former leprosy patients to find dignity with their work. Many have no other alternatives and Bethany Colony gives them respect, fair wages and opportunities they didn't dream possible.

    To create the bag, artisans weave strips of cotton fabric on simple floor looms, then sew them together to create the bag. Featuring a decorative flower pin — removable to tie the bag in with an outfit, or to act as an accent of its own. Suggested retail price, $39.

    To access a high-resolution image, click here.

    This post was posted in Product Photos, Product Releases and was tagged with fair trade, holiday gift guide, handcrafted, handmade, gift guide, make a difference, socially responsible gifts, artisans, fairly paid