Again this year, Gold Pan Grannies presents Kazuri Jewelry in a pre-Christmas sale at St. John’s community Hall, Oct. 26 – 27.
Designed and handmade at the Kazuri factory in Nairobi, Kenya, the mostly women artisans create every single bead by hand, from the raw clay to the finished piece.
Established in 2007 as a not-for-profit company Kazuri Jewelry: the Grandmother Connection, started with the goal to employ marginalized African women and to make the jewelry available as a fundraiser for grandmothers groups across Canada.
Gold Pan Granny Joan McNaughton visited the fair-trade factory in Kenya and was amazed by the happy environment where the women sing and chat while they work. The employees are paid an honest wage to support their families and also receive medical coverage and daycare.
Proceeds from the factory sales go in part to the Stephen Lewis Foundation which supports the grandmother to grandmother campaign and other projects, while the balance of the proceeds go to the factory costs, transportation and taxes.
African grandmothers are central to the life of their communities. With almost no support, they have stepped forward to care for millions of children orphaned by AIDS, sometimes as many as ten to fifteen in one household. They display astonishing reserves of love, courage and emotional resilience, even while grieving the loss of their own adult children.
Canadians have raised an astonishing $16.5 million for African grandmothers through the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign. Resources from the Campaign are invested directly at community level, with grassroots organizations that provide grandmothers and the children in their care with supports that include food, educational supplies, uniforms and school fees, medical care, HIV counselling and testing, adequate housing and bedding, counselling and support groups, home visits, and much more.
Quesnel’s Gold Pan Grannies have set up a display of Kazuri Jewelry in the Art Gallery display window at the Arts and Recreation Centre.
GPG Olive Walsh encourages everyone to have a look at the beautifully crafted jewelry and drop by the sale.
“Shopping for this jewelry brings the African culture to Canada and it’s shopping with a conscience,” she said.
The public can purchase Kazuri Jewelry Oct 26, 2 – 9 p.m. and Oct 27, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. in the Anglican Church hall, 465 Kinchant St.