I spent part of the afternoon at a fundraiser for MonkeyBiz hosted by Eat my Words (http://www.eatmywords.org) and had the privilege of hearing Stephen Lewis speak (http://www.stephenlewisfoundation.org). He is always so engaging and really makes you want to get involved and help create a better world.
But first let me introduce you to the newest member of our family:
According to Stephen Lewis, ~90% of the money raised through the sale of these beaded creations goes right into the bank account of the families the organization aims to help, with hundreds of homes having already been built for those devastated by aids. Which is incredible considering these are areas where there are traditionally no homes. We are also in a time where governments are pulling away from promises of financial assistance citing economic times and cut backs so organizations are more than ever dependent on fundraisers like the one I just returned home from.
But back to my little elephant. I was told that with some of the creatures, like mine, the form was inspired by a child's drawing - usually an interpretation of an animal they had never seen, only heard of - and then created by the artist. I am absolutely in love with it and that the purchase will help a person or family or community is like the icing on the most delicious cupcakes provided by Eat My Words.
Here's a little blurb captured from Eat My Words website:
The addition of MonkeyBiz to Eat My Words is a match made in the Southern African sunshine. A non-profit organization, MonkeyBiz commissions artists from the townships of Cape Town, skilled in the country’s ancient beading tradition. Each beaded artwork is an enchanting, one-of-a-kind piece signed by the artist, making them wonderful gifts which support a truly worthwhile cause. By supplying the richly coloured beads, MonkeyBiz creates employment and empowerment for some 450 disadvantaged women. Able to work out of their homes, the women can now provide for their families. The love child of ceramic artists, Barbara Jackson and Shirley Fintz, MonkeyBiz flows all profits back into the communities.