Wearable Art for Human Rights
Organized by: Kelly Culver
I begin last year researching for my English class on the development of beauty and diversity in different cultures. My research led me to my interest in African cultures and specifically African women. I decided, as part of my project for my research, to create a fundraiser that would support a charity in African communities. After researching several different organizations, I found Tostan. Tostan - the word means "break through." Tostan is a nongovernmental charity that "empowers African communities in Guinea, Huinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, and the Gambia to bring about sustainable development and positive social transformation based on respect for human rights." The introduced a Community Empowerment Program, which is a nonformal education program that is Human Rights Based, Holistic, Learner-Centered, Participatory, Respectful, Inclusive, Future-Oriented, Responsive, and Sustainable. They enter rural regions in Africa to promote literacy and increase community engagement,as well as promote health and hygiene, child welfare human rights, democracy, the environment, and economic development. Since they began they have reached more than three million people, resulting in: - 19k Women becoming leaders in the communities where they live - Three million people now live in communities that have publicly declared an end to genital cutting - 7k communities that have publicly declared that their daughters will not marry before they are 18 - 42k people (mostly women) have improved their reading skills due to innovative training using mobile phones - 1,991 villages have established their own community funds - 110k have learned about democracy and decision making In order to support the work Tostan is doing in Africa, I am making ceramic necklaces. For a contribution of only 30 dollars, you can have your own piece of wearable art and support Human Rights and empower communities. Fifty percent of the proceeds will be sent directly to Tostan and fifty percent of the proceeds will cover both the materials and shipping cost, as well as the application to volunteer in one of the affected countries.