Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Help Out Cocoa Farmers and my friend Amy!

I have been blogging a little bit about where a majority of our chocolate comes from... An estimated 12,000 children have been trafficked into the Ivory Coast to work on small cocoa farms and nearly 75% of the United States chocolate comes from the Ivory Coast. This rocked me. It also rocked a friend of mine. She has decided to take action. Please take a few minutes to read Amy's blog entry that she is letting me copy onto my blog. You can help Amy make a difference for the Cocoa Farmers on the Ivory Coast. Read on, be inspired, and take a step to help these people.

Marisa

13 May 2008

The Kingdom Project

4060My church has decided to do a little project/experiment in radical generosity. They have given 12 people $100 each with the instructions to multiply it and use it for good. I am one of the 12 and given my recent emotional outbreak over child slaves in the cocoa industry, I’m going to use my $100 to start raising awareness and funds for the people suffering in Cote d’Ivoire.

We are going to sell cups of fair trade coffee at Farmer’s Markets while educating people about human-trafficking and the cocoa industry. We also will pass out “Chocolate Guides" listing traffic-free chocolate and non-traffic-free chocolate that people can keep in their wallets. I’m hoping to also have some samples of traffic-free chocolate for people to taste.

Then I’m planning to throw a chocolate party using only fair-trade chocolate and we will take up a collection from people who would like to support the cause.

If you would like to help or donate, let me know. We need all the help we can get. In the mean time, only buy fair-trade chocolate and check out these links for more information:

http://www.globalexchange.org/campaigns/fairtrade/cocoa/chocolatereport05.pdf

http://www.plentymag.com/features/2008/02/sweet_satisfaction.php

http://www.freetheslaves.net/NETCOMMUNITY/Page.aspx?pid=183&srcid=-2

http://www.stopthetraffik.org/


14 May 2008

Boots for Cocoa Farmers!

Well, I came across an awesome organization called Project Hope & Fairness. They do all kinds of good work helping African cocoa farmers, but there was one thing they did that really inspired me. Apparently, Green Mamba snakes are venomous snakes that live in the cocoa fields. In Decembegreenmambar, a team went and distributed rubber boots to the cocoa farmers. Read the story here. The village was so touched they asked if more boots could be bought for the neighboring villages.

The boots cost $10, which seems like nothing to us, but to them it is 13% of their annual salary. I’m not joking. A cocoa farmer makes roughly $77 a year. Buying a pair of boots themselves to protect their life is simply out of the question.

So, guess what? A team is going in August and if we raise the money, they will buy and deliver the boots! They will purchase them in Accra and Abidjan and take them in t heir van to 10 villages. The goal is to provide each village with 40 boots. Think we can do it?! I do! (I know…I’m totally on fire for this project, it’s ridiculous) :)

It gets better. While I was researching traffic-free chocolate a few days ago, I came across the name Tom Neuhaus. He owns a company called Sweet Earth Organic Chocolates, and I thought he was remarkable because he travels to Africa each year to visit the cocoa fields and really cares about the people. (not to mention his chocolate company is one of the best for ethically traded chocolate) The articles I read about him basically turned him into a celebrity in my eyes. When Ernie, from Project Hope & Fairness replied to me about the boots, I couldn’t believe it when he told me Tom Neuhaus was the guy that gets boots for the African farmers! I was star struck. He cc’d him and Tom wrote directly to me! As if he already doesn’t do enough, he is donating chocolate for us to use in our efforts and giving us an awesome deal to purchase chocolate to sell! Thank you so much, Tom! You’re awesome!

Here is a great article about their trip last year. A man by the name of Stan Thompson joined them on the trip, but sadly passed away a month later. This story is truly inspiring. http://www.sanluisobispo.com/northcoast/story/357564.html

So, if you’d like to buy a pair of boots for a cocoa farmer, view my profile and email me. We’ll also be taking donations at the Issaquah Farmer’s Market on May 24th. Tell all your friends too. If we all help out a little, we’ll reach our goal in no time.

2 comments:

Arnolds said...

I am SO inspired, tell me how I can help! We want to buy boots, we all CAN make a difference. Oh and it's all fair trade coffee,cocoa and chocolate for us! josh_sadie@verizon.net :)

marisabutterworth said...

Amy's email address is: amylcheng@gmail.com if you want to get in touch with her!