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Local Peace Corps volunteer works to empower Ukrainian artisans

Duluth News Tribune, Duluth, Minnesota

The biggest challenge most of us face on a daily basis is getting to work on time. The biggest challenges for Peace Corps volunteer Laura Ludwig are a bit more complicated.

“There is always a new challenge, whether it be figuring out how to get someplace using public transportation, getting lost and not being able to communicate, having to eat some new sketchy-looking food,” says Ludwig. “But it brings out the best in you. You get to use all your creativity to survive.”

A large amount of her time as a Peace Corp member is dedicated to planning projects, grant writing, and using social media to promote the city. However, the “other 60 percent” of her time is spent helping on projects, such as volunteering at a girls’ club, talking about American culture with kids, and “training other Peace Corps volunteers.”

One such project Ludwig is particularly excited about is called the “Eastern Rinok marketplace.”

It is a program dedicated to training local artisans to use online marketplaces to sell their creative works. By using the website Etsy.com, artisans can sell their handmade works of art to people all over the world. The project started in early 2013 and is already making great progress.

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