By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – PAMBE Ghana will begin a year-end fundraising effort with the opening of the Global Market, a seasonal fair trade shop, in Oklahoma City. Proceeds raised from the Global Market will go to benefit the La’Angum Learning Center in northern Ghana.
This year, the Market will have a new location at 1301 N. Hudson Ave, in Oklahoma City’s Midtown district, thanks to a new sponsorship from The Sieber Apartments, which is providing the space.
Beginning November 9, the Global Market will be open noon-4 p.m. on Sunday; noon-6 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; and from noon-7 p.m. on Thursdays.
On Saturday, November 11, a Global Market Grand Opening party will be from 6-8 p.m . Guests can enjoy food, drink, shopping and music by world-class drumming artist Jahruba Lambeth. PAMBE Ghana’s Executive Director Alice Azumi Iddi-Gubbels will also be in attendance, sharing updates on activities at the La’Angum Learning Center in Ghana.
“For ten years, the Global Market has provided fair trade shopping for unusual and unique gifts and folk art from around the world,” Tom Temple, PAMBE Ghana president, said. “Our volunteers and our customers appreciate that all profits go into supporting PAMBE Ghana’s educational program in northern Ghana.”
“Tom often quietly worked behind the scenes, setting up the Global Market and moving market goods to and from storage,” Alice said, “Tom has used his building expertise to evaluate proposals for LLC buildings and water projects, provide advice and monitor project progress. Now he’s upfront, representing PAMBE Ghana as our president.”
The Global Market provides fair trade shopping for unique and interesting gifts, including a wide selection of folk art from around the world. The market is staffed by volunteers and all merchandise is purchased directly from artisans or from certified members of the Fair Trade Federation.
Shoppers will have several new fair trade items to choose from this year, including recycled metal and springstone pieces from Zimbabwe.
Fair trade principles include a guarantee that artisans are paid a fair price for their products. They also receive assistance with design development, quality control and improved working conditions.
Based in Oklahoma City, PAMBE Ghana is a nonprofit organization in partnership with local communities in northern Ghana. The name PAMBE Ghana stands for “Partnership for Mother Tongue-based Bilingual Education” in West Africa.
The La’Angum Center is a collaboration that delivers the promise of literacy to underserved villages in rural Ghana.
“I want to make a contribution to my native community,” said Alice Iddi-Gubbels, founder and executive director of PAMBE Ghana and the La’Angum Learning Center. “It contributed to who I am now, and I want to give back in a way that will have a significant impact.
The educational program, which began in 2008, teaches children in pre-K through sixth grade to become proficient in English and in the language of their village, according to Alice.
“I am passionate about basic quality education for children that starts with and builds on the local language and culture in poor, rural and underserved areas,” she added. “As PAMBE Ghana progresses in developing this innovative method in different communities where there are no schools, my intention is to support existing public schools interested in adapting and applying this approach.”
Visitors will find fair trade products from almost every continent, including countries such as Guatemala, Haiti, Peru, Ghana, Burkina Faso, India and Indonesia.
“We sustain a large part of our operating funds from the market sales each year,” said Susan Kovats, outgoing president of PAMBE Ghana. “These proceeds are used to fund our school operations in Ghana and allow us to continue our mission of educating the youth in that area.
“We know our Oklahoma City community is shopping this holiday season,” Kovats said. “We hope they will shop with social responsibility in mind and choose ethically made fair trade items, which we think is a win for the gift recipient, the artisans and the students of Ghana.”
PAMBE Ghana is looking for volunteers in Oklahoma City to help organize and staff this year’s seasonal Global Market and other fundraising events efforts. Those with expertise in publicity, social media, special event planning, donor databases, grant writing or donor development can contact [email protected].
For more information, visit pambeghana.org.