The most effective philanthropy is to do something in order that philanthropy no longer needed.
The best way to support people in poor countries is to buy there.
Buying is better than sending stuff, sending money, giving loans, investing because in supported countries:
- It activates entrepreneurship, which results in economic growth that brings about prosperity,
- Increases the demand for employees,
- Allows to maintain dignity,
- Does not fix the attitude “I’ll be poorer, the more I’ll get”,
- Earned money can be spent exactly as needed,
- Does not make any commitments in the future.
So buy in poor countries, even if we do not really need anything or even if we can buy it somewhere else.
If you intend to donate something, it is better not to give anything away for free, but there buy a product or service, even for the local community.
Several organizations have made the next step at the end of the last century: they not only promote the purchase of goods in poor countries, but also ensure that workers are not exploited. Companies and products marked with the Fair Trade brand also meet different criteria, for example, some of the profits are spent on raising the standard of living of the local community.
The Fair Trade movement marks the best way to lift poor societies out of poverty because:
- There are so many people living in poverty that it is practically impossible to subsidize them all in a clearly perceptible way. The only way to bring poor societies to an acceptable level of development is by activating their economies.
- The most effective way to boost the economy is to increase demand. Where there is demand there is capital and entrepreneurship.
The “Fair Trade” brand is, however, little recognizable to consumers. So ask for Fair Trade products in stores – let sellers become interested in it!
Have you found a product with a Fair Trade mark? – Share this information – a map of stores
Main Fair Trade certification marks
|Fair Trade certification organization||Certificate||List of certificate holders|
|World Fair Trade Organization||http://wfto.com/find-supplier|
|Fair for life||http://www.fairforlife.org/pmws/indexDOM.php?client_id=fairforlife&page_id=certified&lang_iso639=en|
|Fair Flowers Fair Plants||http://fairflowersfairplants.com/nl/growers/|
|Fair Trade in Tourism||http://www.fairtrade.travel/Members/|
|Small Producers’ Symbol||producers, traders|
This is a business
Unfortunately, the current way of implementing the fair-trade idea is not perfect.
Organizations certifying fair-trade products charge high certification fees in the thousands of dollars. The problem is that these fees are required from producers in poor countries, not from buyers from the Global North. Such sums are beyond the reach of most producer organizations in the Global South, especially in the poorest countries. For this reason, most certified producers are located in developing countries, but rarely in any of the 70 poorest countries.
Here and there, in poor countries, associations are created that seek to operate in accordance with fair-trade rules, but are not certified, such as NDOPCRAFT.
Be an activist
However, to eliminate the causes of poverty of countries, you must act on their behalf.