Many of us probably couldn’t identify Kyrgyzstan on a map, but one Mustard Seed volunteer has traveled all the way from the Asian country to pursue her education.
Aigul Kubatbekova has certainly made her way around. She came from Krygystan (I found it. It is on the northwest corner of China) a couple years ago to get her degree in international business from a junior college in Colorado. After receiving a scholarship from Columbia College, Aigul packed her bags and headed east.
After her advisor recommended Mustard Seed Fair Trade as a good opportunity to volunteer, Aigul decided to check out the store. Her first impression?
After growing up in a third-world country, Aigul recognizes the desperate global need for fair wages and human rights. Her heart for those issues is evident.
“My country is considered to be a Third World country. There are women who face violence and struggle to lead sustainable lives as well,” says Aigul. “There are no fair trade organizations in my country… women also make handmade products but sell them to local retailers much cheaper than they could if they had connections with such organizations as Mustard Seed.”
This personal experience has sparked a deeper interest in Aigul to promote fair trade and share with others how many needs are met because of it.
“Fair trade changes lives of those people by allowing them to pay their bills, to send their children to schools, to have enough water supply and live better by doing things they enjoy.”