Eastern Rinok

One of the great parts about being a PCV is that I am surrounded by motivated people – Ukrainians, fellow PCV’s, and volunteers from other countries. I am continually impressed by the creativity and passion of those around me.

A project that I have recently gotten excited about is Eastern Rinok. This project is a collaboration between Ukrainian artisans and Peace Corps Volunteers. With the help and support of volunteers, Ukrainian artisans post their items on Etsy, an online store for handmade items. They are able to reach a global audience (!) with their awesome handmade products. It’s a win-win on many levels: the artisans learn new business practices and sell their wares; volunteers teach local Ukrainians how to conduct trainings for artisans in their communities; and people from around the world can purchase gifts that have a story and a purpose.

I’m personally excited to help with the project – one of the founders, David, is my sitemate (i.e., he lives in the same city as me). I think this is a wonderful, sustainable project with great potential for Ukrainians.

Here is where I need YOU!

Visit the Eastern Rinok Etsy Site. The artists are constantly adding new items, and there is a wide variety of products – jewelry, pictures, flags, handmade stuffed animals, and much more.

If you are a Facebook user, please ‘like’ the Eastern Rinok Facebook page and get  updates about new products as well as artisan success stories. Share the page with your friends.

Tell your family, friends, and coworkers about Eastern Rinok. Encourage everyone to start their holiday shopping in summer, so that they can give great Ukrainian gifts instead of last-minute junk.

Eastern Rinok banner

A few quick answers to FAQ’s about the project: purchasers pay for the items in U.S. dollars via PayPal, which many people already use for online purchases. It is safe, and the artisans are committed to sending out items 1-3 business days after purchase. Every item can be mailed to the U.S. They use a reliable airmail service which typically delivers items in about 3 weeks. If anyone has a question/concern not answered by information on Etsy, they are welcome to contact me.

 And a final fun fact: ‘Rinok’ (рынок/ринок) means ‘market’ in Russian/Ukrainian. :)