Monday, January 3, 2011

A belated holiday Gratitude Greeting

Sorry we're late, friends. It's already the New Year - we hadn't noticed, because we haven't stopped celebrating! This year's theme was definitely Growth & Gratitude. Even with our current economic climate, One Mango Tree continues to grow - so much so that it's often a struggle to keep up! We're excited to make 2011 about Building & Balance (with some continued gratitude in there, for good measure), continuing work on our beautiful products and providing incomes that change lives.

Check out this beautiful short video put together by our much-loved Lauranne Boyd, who just reached San Diego safely {after a nation-wide road trip} and is starting her new work with Invisible Children. We miss you, Lauranne!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS! from everyone at One Mango Tree from Lauranne Boyd on Vimeo.

So what, exactly, are we grateful for? Check out just a few of our 2010 accomplishments:
  • Welcoming the latest One Mango Tree ladies - nine beautiful new ladies from our referral program with International Organization for Migration - they started training in January and we welcomed then on-board as full-time staff in April, growing our Gulu team to 30 tailors!
  • Opening our Lil' Mangoes Daycare. A long-time dream for the ladies - we opened an on-site daycare for their small ones (we started out with 9 pre-nursery-age children and the number quickly started to grow...), and hired Alice, our full-time daycare teacher, who showers the lil' mangoes with love and learning every day.
  • Supporting education. We paid out more than $4,000 in school fees scholarships in 2010, supporting 84 children to stay in school!
  • Learning our status. Partnering with Visions in Action, we offered free HIV Testing and counseling to our staff on-site at our workshop.
  • Saving, saving, and more saving! We worked with Respond ReNU to help the OMT ladies create a Village Savings and Loan Association. They set records for saving at their very first meeting! The ladies also participated in a 6-week course on financial literacy, helping them to develop their own family budgets and savings plans.
  • Shipping our first apparel order. We partnered with Global Girlfriend to create 100% organic cotton knit apparel line, creating new skills and new jobs! A few months later, we added our own small collection, to rave reviews from our customers!
  • Whole Foods! Target! We saw our products for the first time by two of our favorite large retailers, showing their commitment to fair trade and helping to spread the word about One Mango Tree!
  • Moving up. We closed out the year with a big move, to a nicer compound and workshop for the ladies.
Thank you so much for your support in 2010 - it is your continued commitment to One Mango Tree and fair trade that enables our business to grow, and for great stories to be told by our ladies in Gulu. You are a part of that story now, so please share it with pride!

Stay tuned for our 2011 goals!

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