November 30, 2012
This holiday, give a gift that gives back. When you purchase an item from the African Bazaar, 100% of the proceeds go to Voss Foundation, to support our mission of providing access to clean water to communities in Sub-Saharan Africa. Voss Foundation water projects improve lives—through better health, education, economic growth and empowerment, in a powerful ripple effect. Voss Foundation has been working in Sub-Saharan Africa since 2008: in the past four years, we have built 47 water access points and 40 sanitation facilities in 6 different countries.
The idea for the African Bazaar began with our staff and volunteers, who loved purchasing crafts while visiting our project sites. We eventually realized that other people might like these items too! In 2011, Voss Foundation officially debuted the African Bazaar at our New York Women Helping Women luncheon; since then, Voss Foundation has raised over $20,000 from the African Bazaar!
An additional benefit to the Bazaar, as opposed to silent auctions, raffles or other more traditional charity fundraising mechanisms, is its relevance to the second part of Voss Foundation’s mission: raising awareness of the ongoing need for clean water in Sub-Saharan Africa. Accessories bought at our bazaar are beautiful pieces that people are proud to wear and share—they inspire compliments that hopefully lead to conversations about our work.
Moreover, the Bazaar enhances Voss Foundation’s ripple effect, by boosting the local economies in the regions where we work. Women especially benefit, as facilitated access to clean water frees more time to devote to income-generating activities. In Swaziland, our newest water project will directly benefit two women’s artisan groups with clean water access!
All items at the African Bazaar are unique, handmade in the countries where Voss Foundation implements its water projects. The Bazaar features a range of items, from Kenyan ceramic necklaces to Ethiopian silk scarves to intricate carved Liberian masks. You can view photos of more items here. The bazaar was a huge hit at all three of our Women Helping Women events in 2012, but if you didn’t get a chance to attend (or want to see what new items we have) our African Bazaar is now available online! We source many items directly from Africa, so some may be difficult to restock quickly, but please don’t hesitate to contact us if there is something you are interested in that is not currently available!
The African Bazaar as a charitable giving concept has garnered significant positive press; we were featured recently in the November 2012 issue of Financial Times’ How to Spend It, viewable here. As the holiday season approaches, we hope you’ll choose to give a gift whose impact extends far beyond your own family and friends, to communities 8,500 miles away.