By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
The 9th annual PAMBE Ghana’s Global Market, a seasonal fair trade shop, is now open from 12 to 6 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays through December 24. On Thursdays it will remain open until 7 p.m.
The market is held at 6516 N. Olie in Oklahoma City and provides an exceptional shopping opportunity for unusual holiday gifts, including a wide selection of folk art from around the world.
Staffed entirely by volunteers, the Global Market sells products purchased directly from artisans or from certified members of the Fair Trade Federation.
A nonprofit organization based in Oklahoma City, PAMBE Ghana is a partnership with local communities in northern Ghana. Its name stands for “Partnership for Mother Tongue-based Bilingual Education” in West Africa.
All proceeds from the Global Market benefit PAMBE Ghana’s La’Angum Learning Center in northern Ghana. The Center is a collaboration that has brought the promise of literacy to under served 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,” Alice stated.
“I am passionate about quality basic education for children that starts with and builds on the local language and culture in poor, rural and under served areas,” she continued.
“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.
Fair trade principles include a guarantee that artisans are paid a fair price in the local context when the products leave their hands. They also receive assistance with quality control, design, and improved working conditions.
“These items are something you can feel good about buying,” said Linda Temple, market volunteer product coordinator.
“The many products we offer are all handmade by individuals who are paid a fair wage for their work. They are beautiful and make great personal use and gift items,” said Temple. “Purchases from the Market give triple benefits by pleasing the recipient, supporting the artist who made it, and benefiting PAMBE Ghana.”
Fair trade products at the Global Market come from almost every continent, including countries such as Guatemala, Haiti, Peru, Ghana, Burkina Faso, India and Indonesia.
Susan Kovats, president of PAMBE Ghana said, “We sustain a large part of our operating funds from the market sales each year. 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 OKC community is shopping this holiday season,” added Kovats. “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.”
For more information, contact Linda Temple at 405-478-4936 or visit www.PAMBEGhana.org.