Just One World market offers an opportunity to give ethically in Edmonton and abroad
Just One World market stands apart from the barrage of holiday markets cropping up around the city. The money made goes to social causes, both locally and globally, to support projects aimed at bettering the world, one gift at a time.
Roughly 25 not-for-profit vendors sell menageries of fair trade art and artisanal items, all of which come with their own connection to a social justice project here in Edmonton or abroad.
Vendors supply artisanal items including housewares, notecards, and tapestry made by the people they represent. All of the money raised at the market will go to the respective non-profits and their projects.
Every vendor at Just One World abides by Fair Trade Canada’s principles, including fair payment, good working conditions, no discrimination, no child-forced labour, and respect for the environment, among others.
“Most of the groups have a direct-trade or fairtrade agreement with artisans in countries that have projects that they support,” says organizer Kristi Anderson.
The Race Course Community School in Kitwe, Zambia has been a mainstay at the market for roughly 10 years. The K-9 school serves 1,700 orphans and vulnerable children in the community, many of who have been affected by AIDS-related illnesses in the family.
Beyond holiday shopping and supporting worthy development projects, volunteer Heather McKensie says the event is a valuable opportunity to meet with and learn from like-minded individuals.
“Especially here in Alberta, because we don’t have a lot of head offices for international development here. They’re very much an Ottawa and Toronto thing,” McKensie says. “We [in Alberta] have a lot of smaller grassroots international development organizations and this is just an important way to meet them.
“It certainly broadened our network of both supporters financially and folks that we can connect with over a shared passion for international development and community development.”
For example, McKensie connected with a local organization called Sombrilla International Development Society at the market and was able to learn from their organizational and fundraising framework to adopt to her own non-profit’s structure.
“They operate in Latin America; we operate in sub-Saharan Africa, but there’s a lot of ways that we can connect and support each other and learn from each other,” she says.
Something particularly special about the market is that proceeds often go exclusively to the artists shown at the market or the projects represented. With other, larger domestic charities, anywhere from 30 to 70 percent of the money donated never ends up on the ground or in the hands it’s meant for, due to larger organizational operating costs.
While it’s grown in number of vendors and organizers, the market has remained essentially the same since the ‘80s, other than the name change from Just Christmas to include all of their vendors that come from Buddhist or other backgrounds.
Sat., Nov. 25 – Sun., Nov. 26
Just One World market
St. Basil’s Cultural Centre
Entry by donation