116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Want to help improve the lives of rural Pakistani women? Ten Thousand Villages, a nonprofit, fair trade store in downtown Iowa City, can help.
Ten Thousand Villages will hold its sixth annual Fair Trade Rug Event from Oct. 13 to 16 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Iowa River Landing, Coralville. The rugs for sale were created by women in rural Pakistani villages.
The event is a partnership between Ten Thousand Villages and Bunyaad, a fair trade artisan group in Pakistan. Bunyaad means “foundation” in Urdu.
Bunyaad provides a foundation for women by paying them a living wage to knot heirloom quality rugs on looms set in their homes. Women can work on the looms around their other household chores, like caring for children, preparing meals and tending their home.
Work on the looms gives women year-round stable employment that they have control over. With this income, women have found increased financial independence and can financially contribute to the success of their family. They are able to send their children to school and plan for the future. Having a wage-earning skill gives these women a sense of pride as well as an avenue to true social change for themselves and their family.
There are few other opportunities for employment of women in rural Pakistani villages.
“When you purchase a rug through Ten Thousand Villages, you not only invest in a beautiful piece of functional art, but you are also supporting lives, culture and education in Pakistan, especially during the flooding this year,” said Elizabeth Preciado Genell, executive director of Ten Thousand Villages Iowa City, in a news release.
This year’s rug event is particularly important to Pakistani artisans — women and men. The country has been inundated with flooding covering a third of the country. Communication has been disrupted and U.S. partners are unable to get pertinent information on the well-being of the more than 850 families who make the hand-knotted rugs that will be available at the rug event. Many of the artisans who create the Persian and tribal rugs, and hand woven pillows and coasters, live predominantly in the areas of the flooding.
About 300 rugs will be for sale Oct. 13 to 16 in a variety of designs and sizes ranging from 2 feet by 3 feet to 10 feet by 14 feet, plus runners.
The rugs will be displayed at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Iowa River Landing, 300 E. Ninth St., Coralville. Hours of the event are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13 to Saturday, Oct. 15, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 16. Safety measures will be in place and visitors are asked to wear a mask and social distance.
What: Ten Thousand Villages Fair Trade Rug Event
When: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 13 to 15; and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 16
Where: Hyatt Regency Hotel in Iowa River Landing, 300 E. Ninth St., Coralville
For event information: Ten Thousand Villages Iowa City, 105 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City: (319) 519-2104; email@example.com