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Ten thousand villages celebrates 65 years.

TEN THOUSAND VILLAGES, a string of non-profit, fair trade stores, traces its origins back to one woman.

Sixty-five years ago, Edna Ruth Byler, an American Mennonite, launched a fair trade movement when she began selling embroidery from Puerto Rico to her friends and neighbours. She bought items at prices that would allow artisans to support their families with the proceeds of their sales.

Others joined her, and the initiative was eventually taken up by the Mennonite Central Committee to become a string of craft sales and shops. Ten Thousand Villages is its most recent incarnation.

The stores are staffed predominantly by volunteers and run by local boards. There are 48 locations across Canada, including a Presbyterian-supported one in Montreal, and one in Picton, Ont., which was spear-headed by a group from St. Andrew's.

--C. Purvis

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Title Annotation:Community News
Author:Purvis, C.
Publication:Presbyterian Record
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Sep 1, 2011
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