Monday, April 27, 2009

Expanding Our Work, Impacting Communities in India

AWAZ's efforts to support income generation and fair trade in India are growing. With growing support for our work, we are starting to expand our product line and participate in more exhibitions and sales in the Portland area. Our efforts to create more demand for fair trade handicrafts are directly impacting communities in India by helping to create more employment for the artisan groups we partner with in India. Without orders from their buyers, the artisans have no work and no income to support their family. I recall my visit to one of MESH's partners in a leprosy colony in Delhi. I told the women I would help spread the word about their work in my country. They were happily shouting "more orders, more orders".

AWAZ is working on behalf of the artisans and are keen to increase the market for their work by supplying shops and Fair Trade retailers with their products. We are looking for more partnerships and opportunities to spread the word about fair trade and share our products with the community!! Contact us today to collaborate : Sarah Mitts -

Next Exhibition:
Alberta Art Hop, Saturday, May 16th, 2009
11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Alberta Arts District, NE Alberta and 12th-29th Street

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Beginning our work in Oregon : City Repair Earth Day Exhibition

AWAZ partnered with over 50 organizations and The City Repair Project this past weekend to celebrate Earth Day and create awareness about environmental and social action in the Portland, Oregon community. AWAZ has officially shifted to Portland and is beginning to grow their business!!

The event took place at beautiful Wallace Park in Northwest Portland on April 25th and brought over 2,000 community members together for a fun-filled day of organic and raw gourmet foods, eco-friendly activities, environmental and social education and live music! Sarah Mitts, Co-Founder of AWAZ organized an exhibition of handicrafts made by the artisan groups we are supporting in India and shared with the community about our work.

It was our first public exhibition in Portland after relocating to the area to help grow our business and we are happy to say that it was a great success! Portlanders love supporting local, sustainable business and we had many people stop by our table. We've incorporated clothing items to our product line and showcased some new block print skirts made by artisans from Sadhna for the Summer season.
The ladies loved the skirts and also Sadhna's placemat sets! We also had a large crowd of young girls who loved the stuffed animals and bead jewelery made by MESH's partners. And as usual, there is always great support for the scarves, bags and greeting cards made from recycled paper!!

PORTLAND, A Green and Socially Responsible Community
For the last 4 years, Portland has been ranked No. 1 on SustainLane's list of most sustainable and socially responsible cities in the U.S. There is a large, diverse public transportation system, a plethora of green businesses and recycling programs and great support for local businesses. At the Earth Day event, we connected with a couple organizations doing great work. Check them out!

The World Flag Project works to enhance global awareness and unity by promoting a world flag and educating the world about global issues. They have ambassadors around the world working to promote the world flag, its message and creating positive change. Purchase a World Flag today and get involved!

Green Empowerment partners with non profits in over 8 countries to implement renewable energy projects and help develop low income communities.
Association for India's Development organizes fundraising campaigns to support grassroots organizations working to empower the underprivileged in India. They have over 35 chapters throughout the US and around the world working on their behalf. AWAZ is a member of the AID Portland Chapter.

The City Repair Project is an organized group action in Portland that educates and inspires communities and individuals to creatively transform the places where they live. They organize a variety of events throughout the year to educate and engage the community in environmental and social action.