One set of materials we're selling is to support Chris's work. One of Chris's women's group has been dying materials to make what is called vikoi (or kikoi in singular form). Vikoi are tie-dyed cloth with tassels on the end and they are commonly used for shawls, skirts, decorations, carrying babies, etc. Here is a sampling of what we have available to sell.
Various patterns and colors of vikoi.
Thanks to the generous donations from our friends, family and supporters, in the middle of last year we were able to sponsor the training for the women, which brought a facilitator in to teach them how to dye the fabrics. Here are some shots of that seminar.
The teacher showing the women how to prepare the fabrics for dying.
The women practicing folding the fabrics.
In addition to folding the fabrics, they tie it around bottle caps, which makes a nice pattern once dyed.
Dying and setting the fabric. (It's very caustic, which is why they are wearing scarves over their mouths.
Most women were very happy with their final products.
Since then, the women have been practicing their dying techniques, learning about quality control, selling some of their inventory, and building up money to increase their stock. We are so pleased to be able to bring some of these fabrics to the US to sell. It's great to see their pride in their hand-crafts and to see how creative they have become!
If anyone is interested in purchasing any of these vikoi, we're selling them for $10 each (or more if you'd like to make a larger donation). All of the money will be given directly back to the women when we return to Mwanza. This is a great way to support a disadvantaged group of women who are working hard to better their families and improve their lives.
Another set of materials that we are selling are hand-crafted goods made by Sister Peg Donovan's project in Kalabezo. Sister Peg is a Maryknoll Sister who lived in Tanzania for 45 years and just returned to the States. In her time here, she started a pre-school for kids and a craft school for adults in a village, which we were fortunate enough to visit a few months ago when we attended her going away party. The women at Vema (the craft school) make purses, change pouches, computer bags, glasses cases, etc. We are bringing home some materials to ship to Peg but she gave us the go-ahead to sell any if anyone is interested.
Assortment of purses, coin pouches, glasses cases, computer bags, etc. made my the women at Vema.
Closeup shot of purse with strap. We have this in many different fabrics. You can also see the small pouches to the right, also available in many different fabrics.
This laptop bag fits our Mac computer and it has an additional zippered pouch in the front. (Laptop not included, obviously! ;)
These goods are assorted prices, but Peg said basically to see what people offer. Isn't that the African way? So, if you're interested in any of these goods, let me know in the comments and we can talk pricing.
We don't have any pictures of the women making these goods, but I do have the following shots from when we went out to the village back in December for Sr. Peg's going away party.
The outside of the school. Vema means good in Swahili.
It's tradition at special events, such as goodbyes, that the guest of honor shakes everyones hand.
A lot of people came out for the goodbye Mass.
We have limited quantities of all the items and also, since we'll be driving a very small car to NC, GA, SC and MS, I highly suggest that if you want to buy anything you let me know either in the comments below or via email at kreid(at)mklm.org. That way we can be sure to set something aside for you and bring it along with us. Also, everything is one-of-a-kind, so if you see something you like, it may be the only one like it. Get it while supplies last and support great causes in Tanzania!