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TRADE FACILITATION OFFICE CANADA, CARE CANADA AND GONE RURAL WIN CME AWARD
Gone Rural Project wins Canadian Award for International Cooperation at the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters Awards
Trade Facilitation Office Canada (TFOC), CARE Canada and Gone Rural have received the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters International Cooperation Award for Excellence in Promoting Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in Developing Countries for an innovative project to empower women in Swaziland.
In accepting the award, Masood Shariff, Vice President of CARE Enterprise Partners (CEP) said “This success story shows how Canadian organizations can help boost the private sector in the developing world.” TFOC Project Manager, Philip Kelly was in attendance and accepted the award on TFOC's behalf.
Gone Rural is a private sector social enterprise that was established in 1992 in Swaziland to improve the lives of rural women and their families through home-based business. The enterprise empowers the women, helps alleviate poverty and supports HIV/AIDS orphans by creating a regular income for women. Traditional skills are used to create beautiful hand-woven products, like bowls, placemats and other household decorative items.
With the help of CEP and TFOC, Gone Rural has made inroads into the Canadian market. Gone Rural now displays its products in Montreal, Toronto, and in stores nation-wide through Toronto-based iKhaya Imports and Ten Thousand Villages stores. Last May, Gone Rural participated in Design Africa, a TFOC-organized exhibit at the Montreal International Interior Design Show (SIDIM).
CEP, a division of CARE Canada, seeks to apply innovative, market-based approaches to poverty reduction in the developing world. TFOC is a Canadian not-for-profit organization, supported in part by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), which assists SME exporters in developing countries to succeed in international markets.
This is the second time in as many years TFOC has won a CME/CIDA award. In October 2006, TFOC was recognized for outstanding performance in Gender Equality Achievement for its ACCESS! for African Businesswomen in International Trade Program.
The Canadian Awards for International Cooperation recognize achievements of Canadian businesses and organizations in supporting sustainable economic growth and social programs to reduce poverty in developing countries and in countries in transition.