By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Beginning November 1, global-minded shoppers will once again find the seasonal fair trade shop PAMBE Ghana in Oklahoma City’s Midtown District. The Market will be held at The Sieber Apartments, 1307 N Hudson, through Dec. 24.
Based in Oklahoma City, PAMBE Ghana is a 501(c)(3) 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 public is invited to the Global Market’s grand opening party, on Saturday, Nov. 3, from 4 – 6 p.m., featuring food, drink, music, and shopping. Guests will have an opportunity to learn about the school PAMBE Ghana supports, La’Angum Learning Center (LLC), located in in northern Ghana.
PAMBE Ghana founder and executive director Alice Iddi-Gubbels will provide an annual update on the school, the children and future plans.
“We’re so grateful to The Sieber for donating space to our Global Market again this year,” said Tom Temple, PAMBE Ghana president. “This is a significant gift, which allows us to redirect those funds to benefit the children at the La’Angum Learning Center.”
This year LLC has an enrollment of 278 students from pre-school through grade 6. The school’s remote location, in a rural area without running water or electricity, brings the promise of literacy to children in the nearby, underserved villages. Education is offered to girls and boys of all faiths.
According to Alice, to date the Learning Center has graduated three classes of 6th graders who have moved on to junior high school, stating that “there are 35 pre-schoolers in this year’s entering class.”
“I want to make a contribution to my native community,” said Alice. “It contributed to who I am now, and I want to give back in a way that will have a significant impact.
“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.
All Global Market merchandise is fair trade – purchased directly from artisans or from certified members of the Fair Trade Federation. Fair Trade principles include a guarantee that artisans are paid a fair price for their products. The workers receive assistance with design development, quality control and improved working conditions. Global Market fair trade products come from countries on almost every continent.
More than 50 volunteers are involved in ordering the merchandise for the Global Market, setting up (and breaking down) the market each season, and staffing the market each holiday season. Some volunteers have been assisting with the holiday sale since PAMBE Ghana staged its first Global Market ten years ago.
The Global Market is open from 12 – 6 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays, beginning Thursday, Nov. 1 through 3 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 24. The Market is also available by appointment for private shopping and small group functions.
Some of the items available this year include metal works, such as ostriches and roosters; and colorful serving ware. For more information about PAMBE Ghana, visit pambeghana.org. To learn more about the Sieber Apartments, visit thesieber.com.