Photo of children from the Batsiranai Craft Project showing off their dolls.
Lynn Poole from the Batsiranai Craft Project visited our workplace the other day. Batsiranai is a cooperative of mothers with disabled children living in Dzivarasekwa township in Zimbabwe. Before getting down to business, Lynn showed a slide show to us all. Having worked with Lynn for three years now, I am aware of the wonderful work her group is doing. But it doesn’t hurt to get a visual reminder of its impact now and then. While watching the slide show and listening to Lynn’s stories, I tried my best to not to lose it. I felt happy to be doing the work that I do, but so sad to be reminded in such vivid detail why this work is so important and how much further we have to go. It’s hard to grasp that 1 in 4 people from the village where Batsiranai operates has AIDS, many of them children. Not to mention, the amount of orphans is daunting. And all the while, this group has to hope and pray that another government cleanup isn’t around the corner, ready to demolish their craft center yet again. The word “Batsiranai” translates from Shona language to mean “helping each other.” Helping each other is just what this project is about – the women work together to support each other emotionally and help their families economically through their artistry in handicrafts. From our meeting, it was decided that Global Exchange will start offering a few Batsiranai products at wholesale rates when we launch our wholesale program this Fall. Among those products that will be offered at wholesale rates will be the Zimbabwe Twin Dolls, which are by far one of my favorites on our site! Each is one-of-a-kind, and the name of the doll maker is featured on the hang tag.
If you or someone you know has a business and wants to start selling these amazing dolls, keep an eye out for our upcoming new wholesale program this Fall!
Written By: Tex Dworkin, Manager of the Global Exchange Fair Trade Online Store