September 13, 2013
A myriad of beautiful, unusual, and useful items are on their way across the Atlantic and onto the shelves of Voss Foundation’s New York office. The African Bazaar, which debuted at our New York Women Helping Women Luncheon in 2011 as a way to share the same artisan-made goods that our staff would purchase from our beneficiary communities on site visits, will be on display once again this year at our Women Helping Women events in Boston, San Francisco, and New York. Carefully curated by our staff, and supporters with retail and fashion backgrounds, all items are sourced from the regions where we work. Read on to learn about our most recent orders:
The Democratic Republic of the Congo
Our implementing partner Georges Malaika Foundation, brought us malachite bangles from Kalebuka, where they oversaw the opening of three brand new classrooms at the Georges Malaika School for Girls, site of our 2010 Women Helping Women clean water project, and the start of the school year.
In honor of our 2013 Women Helping Women honoree, Maya Haile Samuelsson, we ordered more Ethiopian scarves in navy, pinks, and teals from Connected In Hope, a non-profit who offers income development and a wide range of holistic services for women weavers and their families.
Voss Foundation’s European Representatives sent us a duffel bag brimming with woven baskets, wire wrap bracelets, and kikoys on their most recent trip to Kenya, for the opening of the Masikita clean water project funded by Lene Maria for Rent Vann. Another trip is planned for the opening ceremony of our water project at Seren and Kasipo, so we hope to be able to replenish our stock between WHW San Francisco and WHW New York.
Clutches, cosmetics cases, tie-dye napkins and placemats from partner Jola House will make an appearance yet again this year. We discovered Jola House on our 2012 trip to visit our first project in Liberia.
We can never have enough cow horn! Beautiful leather and cow horn necklaces, a favorite of the Voss Foundation staff, are en route from Mali. Don’t be surprised if you see members of the New York team in cow horn at one of our seven events this fall.
Place mats, stuffed elephants, baskets, bags and necklaces from implementing partner Gone Rural and Quazi Design are in stock and more are on their way. These items are made by the very women artisans the Women Helping Women 2012 project supported!
The African Bazaar is a perfect vehicle to demonstrate the ripple effect of clean water. With access to clean water and sanitation facilities, women artisans and their families, like those of Gone Rural do not have to walk as far to get clean water, and they are often lead longer, healthier lives. This means that they have more time to devote to income-generating activities, like sewing, beading, and basket-weaving, among other things. This shift in both finances and gender roles that results can have a large impact on the development of a community and on the lives of women and their families. By working with communities to build clean water systems, and then supporting the local economy that thrives as a result, Voss Foundation is able to demonstrate how our clean water projects are an engine for growth.
Our supporters tell us they are proud to wear and share pieces bought at our Bazaar—they inspire compliments that lead to conversations about our work! We hope you will find the same.
Shop Voss Foundation’s African Bazaar anytime online at http://shop.thevossfoundation.org or at our Women Helping Women African Bazaar Garage Sale in San Francisco, on October 18th, 2013, when we open up the Bazaar to give everyone in the Bay Area the opportunity to shop for a cause! From 2PM-6PM at the Kellems-Dominik Art Garage at 2383 Union Street, all shoppers receive a Bonnie Young-designed tote and a gift card for a Benefit Cosmetics complimentary brow arch at any US boutique.
The African Bazaar will also be featured again at our Fourth Annual Women Helping Women New York Luncheon Women Helping Women Luncheon on November 14th, 2013. 100% of the proceeds support our water projects.