Funded! This project was successfully funded on February 29, 2012.

Update #12

Report from Zambia

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After a very busy rewarding and exhausting two weeks in Kashikishi I am home with much good news to share. We arrived to a joyful welcome by the ladies in the villages. The micro-lending program is going so well that they have saved money to open another new loan center! Wow, we were impressed. With many requests for loan centers from neighboring village Chiefs, there are many opportunities for expansion.

While we have a number of wonderful success stories from our Grant Program in the remote outlying village of Kawama, we are discontinuing the program due to hardships in managing it for our local team at this time. Pictured below is one of our early grant recipients who now has a flourishing stand at the local market.  They took the news with amazingly good spirits, and we hope one day to return with the Loan Program instead. In observing and talking to the women about their lives, we learned that that great joy comes from their the ability to be fully present in any moment. Their simple yet profound ability to "Be Here Now." is inspiring. In their language there is no word for yesterday or tomorrow, just a word that means not today. Dance and song is created in the moment and accompanies all facets of life.There is not a gathering of women that does not include it, even in weekly loan repayment meetings.

Our art days for the women resulted in many wonderful paintings for our local team to use in creating hand printed textiles for our Bumba Busuma project.  Their art reflects what touches them in their daily lives. I brought home paintings of fish, birds, Cassava plants, trees, pregnant moms with babies, and homes.    I have shared a few for you to enjoy. Next we will be assembling our artists comprised of local vulnerable women to begin hand printing textiles with the Kashikishi art. Look for samples coming soon!

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Update #11

On Our Way to Zambia on Friday

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We leave Friday for Kashikishi with happy hearts.  Our program is not only fully funded (thank you Backers!) we also received a generous donation of art supplies from RileyStreet Art Supply in San Rafael. Thank you RileyStreet, the paper, pencils and paints, rare in Kashikishi, will be appreciated and enjoyed by our friends in the villages.

Once we arrive, I will begin interviewing and capturing stories from the local women for our Bumba Busuma project.  My desire is to learn what inspires them, gives the women we work with, what gives them hope and contributes to their happiness.  The women will be able to use all of the wonderful art supplies donated by RileyStreet to illustrate their stories. I will also interview women to gain a deeper understanding about their dance traditions.

What I gather will travel home with me to be shared with our developing team of U.S. artists, also vulnerable women, who will begin creating textiles based on the stories and images we collect.

If possible, I will get an update from Kashikishi to you.  The lack of infrastructure makes it difficult to access the Internet, so you may hear from me again when I return late April.

Until then, Muli Shani (many thanks)!

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Update #10

We Did It!

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I am so grateful to you all. We made it to over 100% funded, which means all extra funds go directly into micro loans. I leave for Zambia on April 13, we meet up in the Capital on April 15th, and then take that oh so memorable 19-hour bus ride to Kashikishi. We have two community celebrations planned already for our 100+ loan recipients. I'll have so much to share when I get back.

The project closes out at 12 noon tomorrow, and anything more we take in, I will be able to distribute as loans in Zambia.

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Update #9

Last Drawings before we go live

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Sketching to my favorite mask: another potential graphic.The women in Kashikishi are so excited for our visit in April. Thank you so much for your help.

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Update #8

Remind your Friends: Still three days left to Invest!

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Thank you so much for your generous donations, I know we will get there. I have been collecting some wonderful design inspirations, now I just need to work with the women in Kashikishi to make this project a reality.

This photo has always been one of my favorites, and illustrates beautifully the intense colors and patterns worn by women and children alike.

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    Heartfelt thanks! A shout-out on our blog, our facebook page and our website

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    Personal thank you note, featuring an original photograph from my most recent trip to Kashikishi

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    An original, hand-printed lino-cut with personal thank you on the reverse

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    A set of six hand-printed cloth dinner napkins and a personal thank-you note

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    Bring to essence of the women of Kashikishi into your home with a set of hand-printed cloth dinner napkins and a hand-printed table cloth to match!

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    Carry to women of Kashikishi close you when you wear a hand-printed scarf featuring their art and wisdom. Also receive a personal thank-you from a village woman (probably in Bemba!), featuring her original illustration.

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