Fight trafficking with your pocketbook: Program June 11

In many parts of the world, being poor isn’t just a hardship, it can be life threatening. In some countries, the most-endangered – orphans, single women and single mothers – are targeted for human trafficking. Desperation and false claims of a better life draw them into danger.

The fair trade movement seeks to disrupt the connection between poverty and trafficking by providing a living wage to workers, artisans and farmers in developing countries. Consumers play a vital role by seeking out and purchasing fair trade goods.

Sister Stella Storch of the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Agnes and guest speakers will present, Stop Trafficking through Fair Trade, at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 11, at the Fond du Lac Public Library.

The presentation will explain the connections between fair trade and trafficking. Storch will show slides from her efforts in Tanzania, East Africa, where she founded the program, Empowering Women’s Future: The AIDS Orphans Sewing Project.

Storch began the Tanzanian sewing school after visits to the country revealed a vicious cycle: generations of parents decimated by AIDS left orphans in poverty and extremely vulnerable to claims of good money, good jobs outside Africa. Instead, women were held captive in brothels or sweatshops.

Graduates of the three-year Empowering Women’s Future school receive a treadle sewing machine that they take home to their villages.

Along with the discussion and slide show, the presentation will include a display of fair trade items. Refreshments – fair trade coffee and chocolates – will be served. The presentation is free; no registration required.

Stop Trafficking through Fair Trade is being held in conjunction with the annual Tanzanian Trunk Show, 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. June 18 at First Presbyterian Church, 1225 Fourth St., Fond du Lac. For more information about the trunk show, call (920) 904-4436.

In photo above: A student at the Empowering Women's Future sewing school in Tanzania.

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