AU students will have the opportunity to do some “alternative” Christmas shopping this year with the Alternative Gift Fair, which will be Friday in the Mary Graydon Center.
Project Hope International, a campus group that combats human trafficking and works with a D.C. nonprofit organization of the same name, is sponsoring the event.
At the fair, students and faculty can make donations to Project Hope, which will purchase school supplies for children in shelters in Thailand, according to Vanessa Stevens, chair of the Alternative Gift Fair. For instance, a donation of $10 could buy a desk and chair for a child in Africa, she said.
Donations to Ananda Murga Universal Relief Team, an international relief and development organization, will also be accepted.
Items for sale include fair trade goods and the CD “For the Lady,” a double-disc set dedicated to Burmese humanitarian Aung San Suu Kyi that features artists such as U2 and Coldplay. The Movement for Global Justice will also be selling slingshot pocket organizers.
Proceeds will also go to the Alternative Winter Break to Thailand group and the U.S. Campaign for Burma.
Participating clubs include the Fair Trade Student Association, the Movement for Global Justice, the Alternative Winter Break to Thailand group, Project Hope International, and the Ananda Murga Universal Relief Team, represented by Peter Sage, a yoga professor.
The fair will be held on Human Rights Day, which is Dec. 10. Human Rights Day recognizes the adoption of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights signed on Dec. 10, 1948, Stevens said.
Each year, the day is dedicated to a different focus, and this year is human-rights education. The purpose of the day is to recognize that “all human beings are born with equal and inalienable rights and fundamental freedoms” and that there are still many human rights abuses in the world today, Stevens said.
“AU’s Alternative Gift Fair will represent the true meaning of the holiday season and also provide students and faculty a means to do something positive on Human Rights Day,” Stevens said.