When Shlayma Shamberg traveled to Ghana this past summer with American Jewish World Service, a nonprofit organization based out of New York City that provides small grants to NGOs and service programs in the developing world, the purpose of her trip was to learn about a foreign culture and engage in service there. The main project consisted of constructing, alongside the village locals, a community library located next to the local elementary and middle school in Kpeme, a small village in the Volta region of the country. Yet during her seven weeks with this program, she also got to talking with a lot of the neighboring local inhabitants, many of which were small cocoa farmers. Through her conversations with the farmers, she constantly heard the same story: they produced cocoa, sold it on the market, and received extremely low revenue for their product. The prices they sold the cocoa for were so low that it was barely possible to sustain their own farms.
Shamberg then decided to call attention to this option on the consumer side by bringing awareness of fair trade through an event to Goucher's campus. As a new member of Goucher Hillel's Tzedek, social justice, committee, she wanted to get support from Goucher's Hillel, but make it inclusive to other groups on campus as well. Shamberg first solicited the help of Tzedek's chair Dov Liverman to present the idea to the rest of Hillel's board. Hillel then began planning an event, and along with additional logistical help from WILPF, Amnesty International and other individuals, Shamburg worked out the details and logistics of a Fair Trade Party.
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