Diocese of Joliet

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Fair Trade - Work of Human Hands 

Work of Human Hands is a project initiated by CRS that provides vital, fair income to third world people by selling the handicrafts in North America. Work of Human Hands works with artisans who would otherwise be unemployed or underemployed. This effort helps improve the economic situations of an estimated 50,000 handcrafters by providing income that can pay for nutritious food, education, health care and housing. Work of Human Hands encourages crafters to develop their skills and helps craft groups establish self-sustaining business the provide steady employment. The mission of WHH is to glorify God by serving people; to help the poor in obedience to the teaching of Jesus; to be sign of God's continuing love and care. The sponsoring of a WHH craft fair is one way to help meet human needs around the world. Parish festivals, Christmas bazaars, school projects,  and other events are perfect opportunities to sponsor a sale of international Handicrafts. There is no risk or cost to your parish or organization to participate.

Educational Kit

Your school can take part in the program by ordering a free Work of Human Hands education kit. The kit offers high school lesson plans that focus on Catholic Social Teaching, consumer rights and responsibilities,and worker justice. Through a variety of stories and activities, students will:

  • Develop a greater understanding of what life is like for many people in developing countries.
  • Recognize that work is a basic human need and right.
  • Understand that they can produce social change by the choices they make as consumers.
  • Understand the interrelatedness of employers and employees and the responsibilities each has toward the other.
  • Develop a fuller knowledge and appreciation of the people and culture of developing countries.

Students can supplement their learning by holding a sale themselves and  broadening the awareness of the whole school community.

To order a Work of Human Hands educational kit, please e-mail  educationprograms@catholicrelief.org.  Please list your parish or school name, diocese, and complete address.