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How did you get involved with Nepal?
In 2005 I watched a program by BYU Broadcasting production about micro-credit loans called Small Fortune. I really liked the idea of providing people with small loans to help them become self reliant instead of giving them a handout. I started Mia Amicas Globally as a way to raise awareness of humanitarian issues and fund micro-loans and grass root projects and programs. I discovered the Fair Trade Federation and purchased items from Kenya and Nepal. After selling these products for a year, I decided to travel to Nepal to learn more about Fair Trade and see if I could help in additional ways. I fell in love with the people of Nepal and have dedicated this business and my time to help create opportunities for women and children around the world.
What does Mia Amicas Globally mean?
Mia Amicas means "My Girlfriends" in Italian.
In most third world countries the opportunities for women are limited. My mission is to Help Others Thrive with the focus on women and children.
What do you do on your trip to Nepal?
I have traveled to Nepal since 2007, spending usually 3 weeks in Feb or March. Depending on how many volunteers we have determines the items we bring. We collect clothing, books, teaching materials, laptop computers, sporting equipment, videos and what ever else is requested.
We do art projects, distribute clothing and supplies, attend meetings, visit schools and do volunteer projects at orphanages.
We visit women's handicraft co-operatives and design products for sale thru Mia Amicas Globally. We also visit programs and projects we have funded in the past to see how things are progressing.
We are always on the lookout for new projects and additional ways we can help alieviate the affects of poverty. If you know of a small grass root project that you would like to share with us, send us an email.
How do our purchases help others?
When you make a purchase from Mia Amicas Globally 15% of the sale is used to fund humanitarian relief project and programs.
Why aren't you a non profit organization?
Our #1 goal is to teach people to be self reliant, therefore I believe that we should be self reliant. I started this business to raise money to fund humanitarian programs and projects. I work hard to earn a profit and I want my donations to be used the best way possible. Non profits often spend a good portion of its donations on overhead and administration costs and very little of it actually funds the cause the donation was intended for. Because my volunteers and I donate our time and fund our own travel expense, we have a vested interest in our projects. We can make a little money go a long way!
How can I help?
1. Share inspiring stories.
I know this probably sounds funny but it can really help. People love to hear stories that inspire them. It fills them with a great sense of hope and joy and it's probably the easiest thing you can do and one of the most beneficial.
2. Serve others.
You don't have to start a business or travel half way across the world to make a difference. There are lots of people and organizations that are doing good things. Make some free time, find one that matches your interest and lend them a hand. It can be simple like holding a garage sale or selling something on ebay and donating the funds to a great cause or volunteering at the animal shelter or joining a local walk-a-thon. This is a great way to meet like minded people who are interested in making a difference with their time and resources.
If your interested in joining an advocate group and a fun way to met new people, check out Dining For Women.
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