Will you Trade for Hope?
Ruma’s story is typical of thousands of stories about women in Kenya, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Moldova who are the producers of Others products.
Others—Trade for Hope, (formerly known as Sally Ann) began in Bangladesh in the mid 1990’s with a few women such as Ruma who had a vision of transformation through trade. Marketers in producer countries partnered with marketers in other parts of the world, making it possible to sustain livelihoods, which leads to long–term transformation.
Others—Trade for Hope is The Salvation Army’s concept for fair trade. Behind each product, which include interior design, kitchen, textile, paper, and recycled goods, there is a unique story. The products are hand-crafted by producers who are linked to Salvation Army corps and social ministries.
Bo Christoffer Brekke, Others Manager and son of the founders of Others, is based in Norway and works on product and sales development. “I’ve been involved with Sally Ann or Others since the very start,” Brekke said. “I lived in Bangladesh from the time I was 11 until I was 18. And at that time, my parents started Sally Ann. So it has always been something that I have been passionate about.
“We don’t want people to buy our products just because they feel sorry for whoever made them. We want people to buy our products because our products are nice, attractive, and of good quality. That’s something we work very hard to maintain,” Brekke said. “These people are producing something that they are proud of selling because it is good quality.”
After the passing of his father seven years ago, Brekke said he feels even more privileged to carry on what his parents built and to continue his father’s legacy. “I want to make it successful because I believe in it and I believe it is a good way of helping people,” Brekke said. “I couldn’t imagine a more meaningful way of spending my time.”
Others recently reached one of its goals as the chosen supplier of goods for “Boundless: The Whole World Redeeming,” The Salvation Army’s 2015 international Congress in London. Others will supply roughly 15,000 bags and lanyards for congress delegates, made by producers in Bangladesh and in Pakistan.
In September 2014, The Salvation Army USA Eastern Territory made a commitment to see how Others could become more widely known and a part of the Army’s mission in the United States.
As Commissioner E. Sue Swanson, territorial president of Women’s Ministries, said in a recent discussion about Others. “Pray and Dream!”
The opportunities are numerous:
- Seasonal cards
- Conference and workshop bags
- Advisory board and corps gifts
- Corporate gifts to people who support the work of the Army
- Home parties to bring women together and raise awareness about Trade for Hope, as well as to shop and fellowship
- Displays and booths at Army events to raise awareness and to tell the story of Others and how we can participate
- And more!
Why should we think about partnering with Others producers around the world? The products are beautiful, handmade, and producers are paid a fair wage for their work. Each purchase contributes directly to the financial wellbeing of a woman, her family, and her community. Our choices about what we purchase contribute directly to our global mission and show genuine partnership and solidarity with our brothers and sisters around the world.
The Salvation Army in the United States, through Others has a huge opportunity to communicate a message within our own community and outside of it that we are committed to justice and equality—and our purchasing choices reflect that.
Will you Trade for Hope?
If you are interested in seeing how Others can become part of your ministry please contact: