As a quilt maker I’m passionate about the art of the stitch, its story-telling magic and its power to heal women’s lives.
My goal is to support women's economic empowerment in South Africa by selling the beautiful arts and crafts they make. I choose women's groups who are comitted to upliftment of the women crafters. Besides fair trade practices, I donate 10% of the profits from the sale of these goods to the Stephen Lewis Foundation's Grandmothers-to-Grandmothers Campaign to support women in Africa who are struggling to care for HIV/AIDS orphans.
I began African Threads in 2006 after hearing Stephen Lewis talk about the plight of women in Africa. I was galvanized. I knew had to do something
I figured the best way to help was to start importing and selling textiles to generate economic flow to women artisans in South Africa. It’s well documented that economic independance is one of the most potent ways of empowering women. Women with income educate and feed their families, enrich their lives and strengthen their communities. They are more in control of their health and have autonomy and that impacts their communities on every level.
These unique hand embroidered textiles, beadwork and dolls, all from South Africa, tell the stories of the daily lives of women – their culture, sorrows and joy. The makers are all affected to some degree by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. They are grandmothers and mothers, often supporting a dozen or more people with their handwork. The self-esteem that grows from being able to sell their handwork to support their families is truly life changing. The healing comes from expressing their stories through their art.
Your purchases support a dignified income for South African women. The work is done mostly in communities where they care for their families and where there are simply no jobs available. I’ve visited each group to ensure that the women gain fair benefit for their work. All work is bought on a fair trade basis.
10% of the profits from the sales is donated to the Stephen Lewis Foundation and goes back to Africa to support the Grandmother-to-Grandmother Campaign - truly a win-win for everyone. www.stephenlewisfoundation.org
The African Threads logo was inspired by an original hand carved wooden block made by the traditional hand carvers from the Oshiwa group in Namibia.
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