After spending time overseas in the Philippines with trafficked children and the impoverished, we quickly learned the importance of sustainable, empowering change.
While rescue is absolutely necessary for the children in the forced sex-trade, we wanted to do something more preventive that would cut human trafficking at the root, keeping it from happening in the first place.
From our experience, the best way to combat trafficking is by combatting poverty.
We believe that poverty is the source for many of the world's other tragic problems: child sex-trafficking, labor-enslavement, illegal drug trade, disease, malnourishment, hunger, clean water, etc.
And we believe that the best way to combat poverty is not by funneling money into a Western charity, but by putting money into the impoverished communities in a sustainable, holistic, accountable way. This creates real, lasting, ripple-effect change.
That is Kiva.
Kiva works with Field Partners, Microfinance Institutions or Social Enterprises, to support entrepreneurs around the world that need capital to get their business off the ground. Kiva connects us to those people to allow us to fund those businesses through micro-loans.
From the Kiva website:
"We envision a world where all people - even in the most remote areas of the globe - hold the power to create opportunity for themselves and others.
We believe providing safe, affordable access to capital to those in need helps people create better lives for themselves and their families."
Consuming organic produce and foods may seem like an expensive money-consuming trend. Is it worth it? That's a decision I cannot make for you and your family. But when it comes to tea, let me urge you to go organic. (Though not all "Organics" are treated the same; marketing and labeling can be deceptive!)
Here, here, here, and here are articles breaking down the toxic chemicals and cancer-causing pesticides found in alarming levels in the common teas we buy. Tests done on popular tea brands found pesticide levels in tea that exceeds what is allowed here.
All of these chemicals get directly into your cup, released in boiling water, and pollute your body little by little with each sip.
I don't want to be doomsday-esque or conspiracy theorist. I think there is a lot of wisdom to be applied to modern-day-health-and-danger scare tactics. There is money in making people scared. I don't want to frighten you, I just want to inform you.
But it is this very research that motivated me to create my own tea blends -- I wanted to be sure I was getting the best, healthiest, highest-quality, ethically produced tea out there. So I want to assure you that I do the same for you.
Our tea is not only organic, it is pesticide-free, chemical free, vegan, earth-friendly, and hand-blended with intentionally selected ingredients.
Modern-day slavery exists. In fact, there are more slaves alive today than at any other time in history.
In many countries, workers are often enslaved to harvest and produce goods and foods that are then sold around the world, including America. Buying something that is certified Fair Trade means there were no slaves used in its production -- and not only that, but that each worker receives fair and adequate wages for his/her hard work. Fair trade ensures safe working conditions and invests in the communities by boosting the local economy and improving the lives of the workers' families.
Fair Trade certification aids in all of the following for a community (information from BeFair.org):
But it's not just about tea. Check out here for lists of products you use and consume daily that you could be getting Fair Trade. Together, we can make a difference.