Saved from War

artisan baby swing civil war crochet fair trade fair trade swing hand crafted macrame natural nicaragua swing

You know those sweet baby swings that I keep stocked in my store?
I just love them and I'm not alone as they are one of the most popular items in store.
But they have a dark side to them.
How often do you give a second thought to the things you buy? Do you ever look at your hand crafted purchase and wonder about the people that made them?
Below is a video of 17 year old Daniel who together with his sister Karen who is 19, their mother Elena and uncles all make the macrame baby swings.
Just one week later, Daniel and his family's home that was built by 3 generations was destroyed by fire (see video below)
The swings I have in store now were saved from the ravages of war. Marvin, who imports these swings into Australia for us to enjoy travelled into the danger zone to rescue them from Nicaragua. These swings were sitting in that room unable to be moved out by the family. If Marvin had been one week later, the swings would have been destroyed by fire.
So why is this happening?
Nicaragua has a dictator leader by the name of Ortega. There is pressure for him to resign after ruling Nicaragua for decades. He doesn't want to give up his power and is using force to murder or imprison anyone who stands against him.
Ortega has sent his army out to kill and create chaos. He has approved a law whereby any person that is against the government is a terrorist and as such they can be thrown into prison for up to 15 years.
Some people in Nicaragua are making home-made weapons to fight against the military forces (see video below) that are coming into their homes to slaughter and arrest them. Others like Daniel and his family are victims caught in the cross-fire.
So what has happened to the artisans? The future is uncertain for the artisans and future swings. The building you saw that had burnt down was built by 3 generations and they are hoping to rebuild but with civil war and limited resources that could be impossible. There has been no contact with them for a few weeks now and we can only hope that they are safe and well.
I hope this opens your eyes to the world outside our amazingly blessed country. We can all make a difference in this world by being conscious of how we spend our money and the good we can do with just a small decision to buy Fair Trade items.
When I first opened Island Living Australia, one of the things that was important to me was to support Fair Trade businesses. So along with supporting charities (you can read more about my reasons in the blog post called "You Should Write A Book") I wanted to find some great Aussie companies that invest their time and effort into doing what is right and supporting people that are in need. Businesses that go along with my own catch-phrase of "A Shop With A Conscience".

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