To empower and promote the value of exploited, displaced and impoverished people groups of the world through the development of sustainable economic opportunities and fostering of education. Yobel conducts business trainings, contributes to product development, and expands global marketplaces utilizing fair trade principles while partnering with organizations committed to ethical and sustainable production processes.
Yobel is committed to educating consumers locally within the Western world about the power of our purchases in the role of promoting freedom and dignity globally.
Our hope is that through awareness and equitable trade, marginalized people of the world may be offered the hope of freedom and abundant life.
- Build the relationship
- Dream up a business
- Develop the business through training, mentorship and micro-grants
- Create beautiful handmade goods and products
- Purchase the products at a fair price = livable wage for artisan/farmers
- Create a marketing strategy both locally and globally
- Tell the story = generate connection between consumer and producer
- Invite consumers to make change through creation of dignified work opportunity
- Share the profits = develop community infrastructure
Preserve and encourage cultural tradition
Live with integrity
Protect and improve the environment
Tell the story
Empower and enable
Strive for excellence
Act with love
We started in 2008 working with our friends in Uganda who were displaced by civil war in the north by helping them to begin their own business making bamboo fair trade jewelry. Sarah connected with this population after a post-college around-the-world service tour. After visiting this community and seeing their need for disposable income as well as a hand in beginning life over again, she was motivated to care for her neighbor in a way that would mean hope for the future.
Meanwhile, Donavan had been traveling overseas with a social justice school and was convinced of the power of bringing fair earning potential to women in the developing world. One coffee date later, the two invested their hard-earned weekend tip money into their first micro-loan to Canaan Farm based on the business model of the Suubi Project with Light Gives Heat. This tiny grant provided the start-up capital to hire a jewelry trainer and buy basic materials and tools to begin creating bamboo jewelry. Eight months later, a few high school students purchased a tent for the farmer's market and the Ugandan bamboo along with Suubi's paper-bead jewelry provided Yobel's first product lines.
A few months of windblown Saturdays and rainy Wednesdays led to the ability to purchase from two more justice organizations, one in Thailand and another in Indonesia. After another year and a half, it had grown to the point of necessitating a permanent space and against better judgment, Yobel opened a brick and mortar in Old Colorado City.
From the beginning this has been a volunteer-run community-based organization. Without the assistance of many talented volunteers and the hard work of our amazing artisans globally, this enterprise would have closed shop far too soon.
Yobel now partners globally and locally with over 20 different non-profits and social entrepreneurs producing fair trade items and ethical gifts that directly affect lives by empowering people through business and trade and provide freedom from less dignified working situations. Yobel loves our calling to daily inspire awareness and promote justice throughout our community and world.
Yobel could not do this work alone. As mentioned in our history, our Friends (globally, locally) are committed to seeing individuals set free from many kinds of injustice and poverty, both of body and spirit. Some examples by nation:
Kolkata, India - Seeing women set free from sexual exploitation in the largest Red Light district
Phnom Penh, Cambodia - Seeing vulnerable and exploited women receive healing and hope
Colorado Springs, CO - Restoring minor victims of sex-trafficking to innocence
Denver, CO - Assisting lesser employable women to achieve life skills and business trainings
Kigumba, Uganda - Lending hope to Internally Displaced People's (primarily widows) through business opportunity and training
Juarez, Mexico - Standing alongside women of strength as they weather the storm of volatility in a border town
Rwanda - Bringing unity to victims and perpetrators of genocide
Thailand - Releasing women from the darkness of the sex trade
Darjeeling, India - Offering awareness and dignity to communities at risk of trafficking
Lima, Peru - Lending dignity and freedom to impoverished women
Sarchi, Costa Rica - Contributing to preservation of cultural traditions while empowering young men seeking freedom from addiction
Ghana - Empowering farmers and weavers to own their businesses and provide education for their children
Sri Lanka - Investing in tea farmers and their children through equitable payment, benefits and education
Bosnia - Employing women who otherwise would be vulnerable and destitute
Jinja, Uganda - Assisting displaced people's in beginning life anew through business training and consistent income
Kampala, Uganda - Empowering young women to save in order to gain a University level education
Johannesburg, South Africa - Training and mentoring business men and women as they learn to own successful businesses
Locally we could not do what we do apart from amazing volunteers, designers, photographers, writers, accountants, advisers, teachers, and marketers.
To see people genuinely freed from the poverty and slavery of their situation and spirit.
To provide job-skills training for refugees and exploited women through our brick and mortar store.
To continue to develop a line of fashionably relevant ethically traded goods for the western marketplace.
To Expose people of the West to justice issues firsthand.
To see artisans running successful autonomous businesses.
To take business training to the rural communities.
To see our artisans products in boutiques, coffeeshops and bookstores across the world.
To assist the American consumer in becoming conscious of the people behind their products.
To develop a project locally working with vulnerable populations.
Yobel Market from Zion Pictures on Vimeo.