Ewerts to describe involvement in Third World market program at special Friday 60+ session

Norman and Sharon Ewert will describe their involvement with the nonprofit organization Ten Thousand Villages in a program titled, ?Straw Baskets and Zwieback,? during a Friday morning version of the Tabor College ?60+? Learning in Retirement Program March 13.

The program will begin at the at 9:45 a.m., March 13, in the Wohlgemuth Music Education Center.

Ten Thousand Villages, a nonprofit program of Menno?nite Central Committee, provides income to Third World people by marketing their handicrafts and telling their stories in North America.

The organization works with artisans who would otherwise be unemployed or underemployed, helping them pay for food, education, health care, and housing.

The Ewerts co-host an annual Third World Craft sale at their home in Wheaton, Ill., which has brought in more than $1.2 million dollars for Ten Thousand Villages.

?Part of what we try to do with the sale is to tell the stories of the artisans in third world countries and show how purchases through Ten Thousand Villages can improve the plight of the marginalized,? Sharon said.

Sharon Coolidge Ewert, professor of English, chair of the English department, and vice-chair of the faculty at Wheaton (Ill.) College, is vice-chair of the Ten Thousand Villages Store Board.

Norman J. Ewert, associate professor of economics at Wheaton, graduated from Tabor College in 1964

The Ewerts host a dinner in their home every Thursday night for students from Wheaton College who are interested in peace and justice, stewardship, and third-world poverty.

?It is known as Mennonite Dinner on campus,? Norman Ewert said. ?We?ve been doing this for nearly 30 years, and we usually have 30 to 50 students each week.?

According to the Web site tenthousandvillages.com, the global fair trade movement began with the founding of Ten Thousand Villages more than 60 years ago through the work of businesswoman Edna Ruth Byler.

Struck by the overwhelming poverty she witnessed during a trip to Puerto Rico in 1946, Byler was moved to take action. Her work ignited a global movement to eradicate poverty through market-based solutions.

The public is welcome to attend all Learning in Retire?ment programs. Fees are $3 per session or $15 per semester ($28 per couple).

Registration and discount cards for lunch in the cafeteria will be available at the door during the half hour before the meeting.

For more information, contact Connie Isaac, coordinator at 620-947-3121, 947-5964, or conniei@tabor.edu.

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