From our first release, each Cake Pattern envelope back has carried this promise to you. I see the 5% as a small way to build connections between women of the cloth, wherever we may live. It allows those of us who work with our hands as a hobby to provide support to those who work with their hands to feed their family. Since the first Tiramisu sale, Cake has sent money to Action Kivu.
Action Kivu is the organization which supports a sewing school in the Kivu province of the Congo. It’s a region that has been much in the news for war, unrest, child-soldiers and violence against women. The problems in the region are depressing, overwhelming, constant. With all the news coverage on these issues, it’s easy to forget about the individual human beings caught up in this mess.
Amani Mataboro Tom is one of those human beings. He chose to react to horror and violence with compassion. He is an educated man, and worked as an interpreter for various aid organizations. His wife, Amini, is a seamstress. Two of his cousins were raped in 2006 by rebels and subsequently cast out of their community. Rape destroys the life of the victim as surely as a bullet in the brain would end it. Mr. Amani and his wife took in the cousins and taught them to sew as a way to provide the women with a trade and repair their identities.
Word got out and more living casualties of war appeared at their home, which grew into a sewing school. Now they also send children to school:
This school, these kind people inspire me. You can read more about Action Kivu on their website, and also at Handmade by Alissa. Alissa runs a yearly fundraiser for Action Kivu, and her twin sister Cate works for them. She recently visited the school. I emailed back and forth with both women about the work done by Action Kivu, and it’s solid. It’s an organization run by and for Congolese that works to repair lives one stitch at a time.
I really look forward to sending quarterly donations to Action Kivu from Cake. So far, we’ve sent $750 to Action Kivu. This seems piffling until I think about the ways the money may be spent. $750 provides:
- 1 year of primary school for 10 children or
- 1 year of secondary school for 7 children or
- 3 new sewing machines for sewing school graduates or
- A months’ wages for the 3 sewing school instructors
In fact, I rather enjoy looking through the Action Kivu Operating costs and thinking about how our money helps change the lives of people we’ve never met. It’s a little bit magical.
If you’d like to donate to Action Kivu directly, then please visit their website.
Future Cake and Weaving Destination
Debi Fry is hard at work launching a social enterprise that markets organic cottons and ethical silks woven in small scale sustainable factories in India. Weaving Destination provides a livelihood for women who have been victims of human trafficking, and their fabrics are gorgeous. Debi and I are working together behind the scenes for several upcoming projects, I can’t wait to show you! (Admittedly, it’s a few weeks away yet, but I wanted to mention it!)
The Hummingbird Presale Ends April 7
What do you think?
Do you know of other organizations that help create financial independence for women through handcraft? Let me know in the comments, I want to check them out.