It all started with a voicemail, “I was calling to see if you would be interested in some free samples. I am with Zambeezi.” I get a lot of phone calls asking if The Marketplace would like some free products hoping that we would carry them. What many don’t realize is that we are not strictly a fair trade store. God has called us to partner with missionaries around the world. It’s not saying that the organizations who reach out to us aren’t doing good work, many are! God has so blessed The Marketplace because we continue to honor the mission He has given us.
Before calling this organization back, I went to their website and started digging into who they are and what they are about. Their story resonated with me. Zambeezi is a partnership between a farmer from Colorado and 2 men from Zambia, Andre and Pastor Barry. I loved that it started with Pastor Barry going into remote parts of his country to share Jesus. He realized these people needed help. This village didn’t have roads or even clean water.
He began by asking people what they needed and then going into the towns and seeing what they had to work with. They had bees, lots of them! They were simply farmers with no market available to them. Reading this made me so happy. It’s asset-based community development, taking what a community already has and building on it.
In 2008, Zambeezi was born. The beekeepers are in a sub-tropical forest in Zambia where hives are able to thrive. They use organic and fair trade ingredients to create lip balms and beeswax soaps in exotic scents. I tried their products and fell in love and knew I had to tell you about it. We have lemongrass, tangerine, wild rose, and suncare (SPF 15) lip balm. The body balm is in lemongrass. It has lemongrass, peppermint, and rosemary essential oils, all the things mosquitos hate. I rub it on, go in the yard, and the mosquitos leave me alone! Our beeswax soaps come in lemongrass, cassia, and spearmint. Each soap is wrapped in beautiful waxed kitenge cloth. All products are handmade in Zambia.
The village with no road has since built a clinic, an orphanage, and 2 bridges! “It isn’t just about a lip balm. No, it’s so much more than that. It’s about people thriving!” We often wonder how we can help others; this is how you can. When you need to buy a product or a gift, 1st look to organizations who are impacting and changing lives around the world. Every sale matters. You truly have the power to change lives!