As we mentioned earlier, the following posts will be a report back from our recent Direct Buy Trip to South Africa and Swaziland. We will highlight the numerous craft groups that we visited and the impact that Fair Trade has had in their lives. We will shower you with photos and videos that we captured and are able to share with you with the amazing help from Now let’s start from the beginning….

We began our visit with Aid to Artisans South Africa Artisan Trust, a field office of Aid to Artisans (ATA), based in Johannesburg. ATA is a US based nonprofit organization that offers practical assistance to artisan groups worldwide, working in partnerships to foster artistic traditions, cultural vitality and to improve community well-being. Through collaboration in product development, business skills training and development of new markets, Aid to Artisans provides sustainable economic and social benefits for craftspeople in an environmentally sensitive and culturally respectful manner.

In partnership with W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Aid to Artisans South Africa Artisan Trust has begun a multi-year program in southern Africa to “facilitate the growth and sustainability of cultural industries through market and product development, training and entrepreneurship building in southern Africa.”The emphasis of this collaboration is to transfer expertise to local people, helping them to solve their own problems. ATA’s is working with several groups in the Eastern Cape and others in Mkhanyakude, KwaZulu-Natal.

To learn more about their innovative programs at: