Shop party to mark year of helping others

Orphans Aid International founder and director Sue van Schreven (left) with Orphans Aid...
Orphans Aid International founder and director Sue van Schreven (left) with Orphans Aid International Fair Trade Shop manager Edna Petreceli at the Terrace Junction store. This week the store, which sells fair trade goods to benefit those who make the...

In the past 12 months, thousands of dollars have been raised and many families have reaped the benefits of the Orphans Aid Fair Trade store in Frankton.

Orphans Aid International founder and director Sue van Schreven, of Queenstown, said the Terrace Junction store would mark its first birthday with a celebration on Thursday to thank the community for its support.

The store primarily stocks fair trade items - including coffee, tea and chocolate - from Peru, India, Africa, Romania, Bhutan, Europe, Russia and Nepal, with some ''Kiwiana'' items donated by local suppliers.

''There is a story behind everything in the shop,'' Mrs van Schreven said.

''The bags from India are actually helping women who were living on the streets; [making them] provides an alternative to prostitution.

''By the time things have arrived here, they've already helped [the communities overseas].''

Mrs van Schreven said Orphans Aid staff bought the goods from the various countries, ensuring people were paid a fair price for their work, and there was no child labour.

The goods were then on-sold for a small profit from the Frankton store, with proceeds going to various Orphans Aid projects.

This year is the 10th anniversary of Orphans Aid International, a charitable trust providing relief and care to orphaned children around the world.

Its work now includes Casa Kiwi, a Romanian orphanage that has assisted 55 children since its inception and has just been renovated and expanded; a day programme in Russia where 60 children are assisted six days a week; and a programme in India focused on feeding 500 children every day.

Mrs van Schreven said the trust's next projects were to construct a school on the Bhutan border, with funding approved at Christmas, and to work with children in Uganda, aiming to find family members and keep them out of orphanages.

Money raised through the fair trade store assisted with all of the projects, she said.

''People know that their dollars are going to good causes.''

The shop will celebrate its first birthday with the cutting of a cake at 3.15pm on Thursday.

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