I’m a creative person by nature. Maybe it’s because I’m left-handed and extremely right-brained.
When I was young, I would sit on my bed or the living room couch and just sketch. I remember many sketches of people and dragons (when I was particularly into mythology). I’d use pencil and just practice the shading of objects, studying each and every shadow.
I would also sketch abstract designs around words like “peace,” “love” and “understanding.” (And, yet, I was a metalhead at the time and not a hippie.)
I actually still have a sketchbook with a few of my creations still intact. I gave it to my youngest son, Biz, who is quite creative himself. (He’s also a lefty, which means my house is dominated by creative lefties much to my analytical righty’s chagrin.)
I haven’t sketched in a while, spending more time on writing and other art projects. But sketching is something I’ve thought about bringing back into my creative repertoire.
There is something relaxing and empowering about sketching and creating something with your own hands.
I have these thoughts as I sit at my dining table with a ProFlowers All Across Africa vase as its centerpiece. The flowers are beautiful, but the vase is really the inspiration because it was handmade by a woman like 28-year-old Francine, a mother of two who has been weaving for 4 years. Her job as a weaver for All Across Africa has allowed her to earn enough money to buy a house and provide health insurance for her whole family.
ProFlowers has partnered with All Across Africa to create a beautiful collection of exclusive handmade vases that are uniquely crafted by artisans in Rwanda. Dedicated to empowering communities by providing employment and education, All Across Africa is a fair trade organization and a benefit corporation. Their purpose, according to their website:
All Across Africa creates market-driven employment opportunities to improve and empower the lives of rural and poor people across Africa. That’s our mission. Our target. Our purpose.
The ProFlowers All Across Africa Collection will provide healthcare for 18,000+ people. Just one ProFlowers All Across Africa vase will provide a child with the opportunity to attend school for 2 months. Each handmade piece in the collection is locally sourced and crafted by artisans in Africa.
All Across Africa focuses on the under-served areas of rural Africa. Instead of giving handouts, they invest in artisans so that they may generate an income for their families. The organization provides what they call a “market bundle” that includes education, finance, materials, training and market access, a “poverty-reducing solution that is sustainable and helps restore dignity.”
Find out more about these handmade products and/or purchase them:
- ProFlowers All Across Africa collection
- Shop All Across Africa
- Become a Partner for Change
- Meet the Artisans
Disclosure: I received an All Across Africa bouquet from ProFlowers, which inspired the writing of this post. The opinions and words are all mine.
Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Jennifer.