PAKISTANI LEARNING TOUR
Fourteen staff members from Ten Thousand Villages stores across the US and Canada traveled March 8-23, 2005, for a 16-day learning tour to Pakistan to visit rug making artisans working with Ten Thousand Villages in Pakistan. This once-in-a-lifetime trip took these fourteen participants to the far reaches of the world-to small villages and large cities where artisans handcraft Ten Thousand Villages heirloom-quality, handknotted Oriental rugs using traditions passed down to them by their ancestors.
Ten Thousand Villages, with headquarters based in Akron, Pa., and New Hamburg, Ontario, hosts annual learning tours where store managers and staff connect to artisans through visits to artisans' workshops and homes. The fourteen tour participants from Dayton, Va., Calgary, Ab., Portland, Or., and points in between met rug making artisans and heard first-hand how fair prices and consistent orders from Ten Thousand Villages improve their lives.
"Sharing the stories of artisans and their life experiences is integral to the mission of Ten Thousand Villages. Each product we sell is made by a person who is important to us. Learning tours underscore this important aspect of who we are and validate our claim that we personally know the stories and names of the people we work with," says Joanne Ranck Dirks, manager at Ten Thousand Villages, Ephrata, PA.
"By meeting and talking with the people who make the handknotted rugs that are featured in our store year round, I learned more about the handcrafted processes and how the work we do here in Winnipeg benefits artisans as they strive to feed, clothe and educate their families," said Gwen Repeta, manager of Ten Thousand Villages, Winnipeg, MB. "These rugs are much more than just art under foot; they represent hope, possibility and dreams realized for over 700 families in Pakistan."
Customers can read more about the group's travels through Pakistan by clicking here. The tour was led by Yousaf Chaman and Jenni Leister, rug room staff at Ten Thousand Villages, Ephrata.
For more information about the tour, please contact the corporate rug room at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-721-8800.