In the last 50 years, wealthy nations have poured billions of dollars in aid into poor countries. Despite the large amounts spent, most of the aid has proven to be, at best, a temporary solution to the problems of poverty. At worst, the money has been absorbed by the governments of the most corrupt societies, providing funding for the oppression of their own people. There must be a better way.
Rather than perpetuating the colonial-style dependence of poor nations on wealthy nations, the next step is to empower poor nations to support themselves. To argue for aid sent to poor countries and to oppose trade liberalization in both the wealthy and the poor nations is to argue for stagnation. It does not help the poor to divide the world into consumers and producers; every group has something to trade and must be given an opportunity to do so. Poor nations do not only need charity; they need the opportunity to make a way for themselves.
Better Way Imports is one avenue which provides that opportunity. By giving companies in poorer nations the North American market through which to sell their products, Better Way Imports allows the poor to begin to support themselves. Better Way Imports is not a charity–we demand high quality products, fair trade with employees, and sustainable business practices.
By supporting meaningful jobs, Better Way Imports encourages not only a permanent way out of poverty and oppression, but also to provide an opportunity for hope, dignity and a life people in impoverished situations could never before have imagined. This is our vision: to provide a better way of helping people.
Better Way Imports began first as an encounter with a profound awareness of the evils of sexual slavery in disadvantaged populations of the developing world. Of all the slaves in this world, roughly 80% are women. With few skills, no education, and a depth of poverty nearly impossible to imagine, women are trapped in the hopelessness of their situation. Often sold into slavery by their destitute families, they become ensnared by a web of deceit, ignorance, and debt.
A way out has been created by local fair trade organizations designed to give them hope, education, and a future. Assured a fair price for the work of their hands, these women regain their futures–a way to earn, learn, and provide for themselves and their families. More than this, they gain the restoration of their God-given dignity, a priceless part of their experience and existence. But where can they sell their beautiful creations?
This is where Better Way Imports comes in. BWI is the means for the retail sale and distribution of these fair trade goods.
Started in 2001 by Bill Leep, Better Way Imports grew out of his desire to do something about the deplorable living conditions of people in Kolkata, India. Read his full story here.
Better Way Imports offers exciting opportunities not only for those trapped in slavery, but also for you! Join us in the fight against modern-day slavery by becoming a Freedom Fighter, attending our events, or buying our products.