Yobel contributes to product development, and expands global marketplaces utilizing fair trade principles while partnering with organizations committed to ethical and sustainable production processes. Yobel is committed to educating consumers locally within the Minority World about the power of our purchases in the role of promoting freedom and dignity globally. Our hope is that through awareness and equitable trade, marginalized people of the world may be offered the hope of freedom and abundant life.
In 2003, Sarah visited the Canaan Farm community in Uganda made up of individuals displaced by the civil war in the north. After this experience and seeing their need for additional income and a fresh start, Sarah was motivated to care for her neighbor. Meanwhile, Donavan traveled overseas with a social justice school and was convinced of the power of bringing fair earning potential to women in the developing world. In 2008, the two met for coffee and decided to invest their own savings into their first micro-grant to a group of women living on Canaan Farm. This tiny grant provided the start-up capital for the production of bamboo fair trade jewelry by hiring a jewelry trainer and buying basic materials and tools. Eight months later, a few high school students purchased a tent for a local farmers’ market. The Ugandan bamboo, along with another organization's paper bead jewelry, provided Yobel Market with its first product lines. After another year and a half and the inclusion of two more justice organizations, Yobel Market grew to the point of necessitating a permanent space. Against much well-meaning advice, Yobel Market opened a brick and mortar store.Throughout this time Yobel Market also saw the need in the developing world for basic business education and financial management training to empower individuals to start businesses serving their own communities. They created a curriculum to train entrepreneurs in essential business practices and savings principles, reducing dependence on international aid. From the beginning this has been a volunteer-run, community-based organization. Without the assistance of many talented volunteers and the hard work of our amazing artisans globally, this enterprise would never have survived. Yobel Market now partners with nonprofits and social entrepreneurs all over the world, including here in the United States, who produce fairly-traded and ethically-made products. These items directly affect lives by empowering people through business while providing freedom from exploitative labor. Yobel Market loves its calling to daily inspire awareness and promote justice throughout our community and world!