Anyone can attest that traveling the world will change you. The change one experiences after hiking to an ancient city or immersing yourself in another culture lasts longer than the days spent there.
This is the premise of The Village Experience (TVE). To give people a chance to travel and experience places with locals, and come away with the most important thing – a desire to make the world a better place in which to live.
The Village Experience creates customized tours centered around micro-finance education, urban ecology, yoga and meditation, anti-human trafficking, and eco-tourism. The goal is to blend socially responsible tourism and fair trade principles into a company that can uplift people’s lives.
“We bring people to meet the artisans themselves, to hear from them on how fair trade is benefiting their lives directly,” explains Anne Campbell, Co-Founder of The Village Experience. Campbell is in charge of product development and design management at TVE. “These are real people in real communities with real skills.”
The Village Experience tours mix cultural immersion, volunteering, and adventure. Campbell explains that TVE has a team on the ground that is responsible for visiting and coordinating artisans daily and that they visit the team themselves several times a year. The workshops are all family owned and operated, with entire villages centered on handicraft work. Learn more about The Village Experience’s trips to India, Kenya, and Guatemala.
On the other side of TVE’s organization is The Opportunity Collection, a wholesale fashion line that employs artisans around the world. By connecting these artisans with the global market, TVE gives these artisans the opportunity of steady, reliable income.
Take for example the family workshop that created the wooden products featured in GlobeIn’s Artisan Boxes. Rabindranath (Rabin) Adak and his wife Nila crafted these items. They own a family workshop that has been passed down through the generations. His parents, Chayya and Sukhdeb, are also involved with the workshop. Sukhdeb taught Rabin to carve, but Rabin furthered the workshop by connecting with the international market.
The Adak family lives in Medinipur, a low-lying delta region of West Bengal, India. Due to climate change, the whole community has experienced severe flooding during the rainy season, preventing agricultural work. From GlobeIn’s orders, the community has seen a 23 percent increase in revenue this year and are able to sustain their families. The workshop was also able to employ twice as many people this year, now 24 artisans in total.
Every month, the GlobeIn Artisan Box delivers a fresh collection of useful and enthralling items from around the world. As an Artisan Box Subscriber, you learn about the products and the people who made them while discovering simpler ways to live a more fulfilled lifestyle. By subscribing to the GlobeIn Artisan Box, you can feel good about the products you use, the people you support and how your choices contribute to a better world.
Post by Barbara Lee.
Barbara is a world traveler who is passionate about sustainable food systems, responsible consumerism, and holistic living. Her professional background and interests include writing, cooking, non-profit work, and eco-conservation.