“I can now afford to educate my son who is physically challenged. By buying my products you have changed my life, and my family’s, positively.” Refugee craftsman, Mikono Crafts, Kenya

Every good father longs to give his son a safe, fulfilling future. But for the Dads amongst Nairobi’s estimated 100,000 refugees, it’s not something they can always offer. Some of these refugees escaped wars in Somalia, Rwanda and DR Congo. Others fled starvation during the East African famine. Each of them hopes their children will have a more secure future than what they have fled.

Starting a new life from scratch, though, can be almost as traumatic as what they have left behind. Mikono Crafts exists to help refugees in Nairobi – many of whom are living in slums – learn new skills, or use the skills they have, to earn an income and become self-sustaining.

Global Handicrafts sells several products made by refugees working with Mikono, including wooden carvings, adorable soft dolls and our popular banana fibre nativity sets.

See videos about their work here.


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Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

HELPING LIGHT THE DARKNESS

The BBC calls if ‘the worst refugee camp on earth’. A camp on the far-flung island of Lesvos, Greece, seen by...

read more ...

7,000 brand new toys for Christmas

The quantity was astonishing: 7,000 brand new toys, donated through our Global Hand service by a leading toy manufacturer. NGOs across...

read more ...

Excelsior Hotel close equips HK social enterprise

It was the end of an era when Hong Kong’s beloved Excelsior shut down in early 2019. As their doors closed,...

read more ...

Helping equip Ukrainian maternity facility

"Finally, the repair of our maternity hospital is finished," wrote our colleagues in the Ukraine. "Your beds are in refurbished rooms...

read more ...

What’s the ideal solution for a mother who wants to work in Hong Kong while caring for the family and for the environment?

Bella Ip describes the journey she took, one that found answers, first for herself and then for other Hong Kong women.

She writes:

“Being a mother, I wanted to work near home with flexible working hours.

“Being an idealist, I would not compromise on any unethical commercial activities.

“Being an environmentalist, I wanted to help ease the burden on Mother Earth.”

Bella took out a loan and began making environmentally friendly soap. Now, she says, “I want to share this experience, knowledge and skills with more people, especially women. By becoming a soap-maker, they can spend more time at home taking care of their family, especially their children.”

So-Soap-(2)

So…Soap is not only responsible to the women it employs, it is also responsible to the environment. The soap is produced with eco-friendly, all natural components and bottled in sterilised, re-cycled soy milk packaging.

Their goal is a lofty one: “We attempt to spread our positive influence towards every corner of our society.” Their success offers proof of concept that innovative social enterprise can get it right with both its people and the planet.

We sell So…Soap products in our Global Handicrafts marketplace.


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Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

HELPING LIGHT THE DARKNESS

The BBC calls if ‘the worst refugee camp on earth’. A camp on the far-flung island of Lesvos, Greece, seen by...

read more ...

7,000 brand new toys for Christmas

The quantity was astonishing: 7,000 brand new toys, donated through our Global Hand service by a leading toy manufacturer. NGOs across...

read more ...

Excelsior Hotel close equips HK social enterprise

It was the end of an era when Hong Kong’s beloved Excelsior shut down in early 2019. As their doors closed,...

read more ...

Helping equip Ukrainian maternity facility

"Finally, the repair of our maternity hospital is finished," wrote our colleagues in the Ukraine. "Your beds are in refurbished rooms...

read more ...

For decades, refugees from around northern Africa have fled to Egypt to escape horrors like persecution, rape and genocide, yet they find that life in their new home is still a struggle. Finding safe, fair employment can be almost impossible.

For Sudanese refugees, the situation is particularly dire. 75% of the Sudanese refugee community in Cairo is trying to survive on less than $1 a day. Finding a proper job, with fair conditions and a decent wage, is almost impossible.

Tukul-teatowelAlmost 30 years ago, a small group of displaced Sudanese people in Cairo were battling this same problem, so they started a little workshop to make some means of living.

They began with beadwork and printing t-shirts with simple stencils. After a while, they introduced basket weaving. They named the project “Tukul”, which means “small hut”.

Today an established social enterprise, Tukul produces and exports a large range of beautiful, vibrant products that reflect the style of the refugees’ home nations. Global Handicrafts sells several of the Tukul range, including their gorgeous tea towels, perfect for your Fair Trade kitchen!


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Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

HELPING LIGHT THE DARKNESS

The BBC calls if ‘the worst refugee camp on earth’. A camp on the far-flung island of Lesvos, Greece, seen by...

read more ...

7,000 brand new toys for Christmas

The quantity was astonishing: 7,000 brand new toys, donated through our Global Hand service by a leading toy manufacturer. NGOs across...

read more ...

Excelsior Hotel close equips HK social enterprise

It was the end of an era when Hong Kong’s beloved Excelsior shut down in early 2019. As their doors closed,...

read more ...

Helping equip Ukrainian maternity facility

"Finally, the repair of our maternity hospital is finished," wrote our colleagues in the Ukraine. "Your beds are in refurbished rooms...

read more ...

Celia, of Chile, knows a thing or two about honey. A mother of five, Celia lives in the Valdivia region of southern Chile, in a rural community where work is scarce and education is lower than the national average. Celia’s future has brightened since she joined the beekeeping co-op that supplies honey to Fair Trade snacks, Geobars. According to Geobar, this Fair Trade Chilean honey co-op pays the best wages in the area, bringing changes like fresh water to drink and toilets close by: things we might take for granted, but which, for seasonal farm workers in Chile, are often the exception!

The changes in Celia’s own life have certainly been real. “My dream would be for all my children to finish high school. I hope that they will study further. Because of this, I’m trying to find ways to increase my beehives. That will be my source of money in case any of my kids want to go to university and then I can support them,” she says.

The sweet thing about Geobars is that honey is only one of their delicious Fair Trade ingredients! “When you’re eating Geobars, you’re also kitting kids out for school in South Africa, helping beekeepers and their communities to thrive in remote, rural Chile and giving fruit pickers in the mountains of Pakistan a much fairer deal,” says Geobar. Now, those are words that make our hearts sing, too!


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Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

HELPING LIGHT THE DARKNESS

The BBC calls if ‘the worst refugee camp on earth’. A camp on the far-flung island of Lesvos, Greece, seen by...

read more ...

7,000 brand new toys for Christmas

The quantity was astonishing: 7,000 brand new toys, donated through our Global Hand service by a leading toy manufacturer. NGOs across...

read more ...

Excelsior Hotel close equips HK social enterprise

It was the end of an era when Hong Kong’s beloved Excelsior shut down in early 2019. As their doors closed,...

read more ...

Helping equip Ukrainian maternity facility

"Finally, the repair of our maternity hospital is finished," wrote our colleagues in the Ukraine. "Your beds are in refurbished rooms...

read more ...

West Africa is a hot-spot for chocolate slavery. Children as young as 8 can be found putting in back-breaking days wielding sharp machetes or handling hazardous pesticides. Few children on chocolate farms attend school.

Where Divine’s cocoa is grown, things are different. The women who work with their supplier in Ghana, cocoa cooperative Kuapa Kokoo, care as much about investing their communities as they do about the cocoa they produce. The extra income generated by fair trade operations benefits not just the farmers, but the area’s children, like Jennifer (below).

When Jennifer was younger, she had to make a difficult choice: to live with her family or to go to school. Even though the closest school was 2 hours away, education was important to Jennifer and her family, so she left home and attended school far away, knowing it was the only way to reach her dream of becoming a nurse.

Today, though, Jennifer no longer has to make that choice. Her area is home to Divine chocolate’s cocoa supplier Kuapa Kokoo. With fair trade premiums invested by the women of Kuapa, new schools have now been built in Jennifer’s village. She can live with her family again, as well as get the education she needs to become a nurse and care for people in her community.

Global Handicrafts sells a wide range of Divine’s chocolates, including our larger 100g blocks and powdered drinking chocolate, as well as the snack-sized 50g bars available in-store!

* Story and photos courtesy of Divine chocolate.


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Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

HELPING LIGHT THE DARKNESS

The BBC calls if ‘the worst refugee camp on earth’. A camp on the far-flung island of Lesvos, Greece, seen by...

read more ...

7,000 brand new toys for Christmas

The quantity was astonishing: 7,000 brand new toys, donated through our Global Hand service by a leading toy manufacturer. NGOs across...

read more ...

Excelsior Hotel close equips HK social enterprise

It was the end of an era when Hong Kong’s beloved Excelsior shut down in early 2019. As their doors closed,...

read more ...

Helping equip Ukrainian maternity facility

"Finally, the repair of our maternity hospital is finished," wrote our colleagues in the Ukraine. "Your beds are in refurbished rooms...

read more ...

Faced with the challenge of feeding a family in situations of uncertain economics and security, the women of Palestine often cannot find dignified means of earning and instead remain mired in poor living conditions. The women often have excellent talents in traditional craftwork, but do not know how to turn that into income. Sunbula, a local organisation, works alongside such groups of women or the disabled to help them learn administration skills and get access to the world market. Each product is made by hand and keeps with Palestinian tradition, a rich heritage extending through the millennia. Your purchase enables these people to support themselves and their families with dignity while preserving their native culture.


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Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

HELPING LIGHT THE DARKNESS

The BBC calls if ‘the worst refugee camp on earth’. A camp on the far-flung island of Lesvos, Greece, seen by...

read more ...

7,000 brand new toys for Christmas

The quantity was astonishing: 7,000 brand new toys, donated through our Global Hand service by a leading toy manufacturer. NGOs across...

read more ...

Excelsior Hotel close equips HK social enterprise

It was the end of an era when Hong Kong’s beloved Excelsior shut down in early 2019. As their doors closed,...

read more ...

Helping equip Ukrainian maternity facility

"Finally, the repair of our maternity hospital is finished," wrote our colleagues in the Ukraine. "Your beds are in refurbished rooms...

read more ...