I mentioned a couple months ago that I wanted to start using this space for more than outfits, recipes, and inspiration. I've shared a couple of fundraisers in the past, which I've run local 5k's for and asked for a few donations for those, and I may continue sharing those kinds of opportunities to give back, but in addition to that I'm going to start donating a portion of my ad sales to a different cause each month. These causes will mostly likely involve empowering or protecting women as those are issues I'm more passionate about. Some will be local to Tacoma or my home state/town, and some will be international. Since not all of my readers would have a reason to purchase an ad, but still might want to support that month's cause, I'll also include a link where you can donate without purchasing an ad.
For this month I will be donating all small ad sales to Umoja Women
, which is an amazing organization in Kenya. I was introduced to Umoja through Half the Sky
, and if you have a few hours to spare and a Netflix account, I recommend giving it a watch. The following video is a little explanation of Umoja's history and mission, plus some incredible photographs by Siegfried Modola
, a Nairobi based photographer.
Umoja is a village of women started in order to escape the violence and control of men. "In 1990, 15 women,allegedly raped by local British soldiers, and led by Rebecca Lolosoli, formed and registered the Umoja Uaso Women's Group with the then Ministry of Culture, Heritage and Social Services. They started by selling beadwork and other goods. After facing threats from men jealous of their success, the members decided to found a women-only village and reside together, thus providing collective security and cooperation."
The Umoja village has had over 60 women and has grown to birth new nearby women's villages, such as the Nachami Women's Village
, and recently Unity Women's village
. In addition to creating their own financial success and independence through creating beaded artisan jewelry and artwork, they are also committed to informing women about their rights, their health and healthcare, and helping women start income-generating activities, as well as providing a safe place to escape violence from men.
(photos by Siegfried Modola)
In a season when it feels like my culture's obsession with materialism is at it's worst, I feel like doing something to fight back, if only, perhaps, in one small way. Instead of buying a bunch of things that I know we don't need, I'd rather give a truly meaningful gift to someone that actually needs something I can give. I truly don't need anything more. I have more than I deserve. There are people who have less than they deserve and instead of just being annoyed with all the buy-buy-buy-spend-spend-spend ads on tv and online this time of year, I want to do something more.
A Small Ad is $50 for 1 month and $80 for 2 months. At the end of the month I'll tally up all the sales and donate (although I might actually do it throughout the month so we can see the progress!). If you have no reason to get an ad but still want to donate, click here and you can donate online.
In addition to Umoja, I thought I'd mention that Musana Jewelry, a similar women's empowerment jewelry country supporting women in Uganda, has a two day sale coming up this Monday and Tuesday! All jewelry in the shop is 20% off! I've styled a few Musana pieces in the past and also hosted a Musana shopping party at my house, and they're an amazing organization.