Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Most of the Batsiranai children suffer from cerebral palsy, a term that encompasses a number of neurological disorders that affect muscle control and coordination. Children are generally born with the condition as it results from a brain abnormality and the sypmtpoms are stable throughout life.
Althought the majority of Batsiranai children have cerebral palsy, but a number of other conditions are also present. These inculde micro cephalic, hydro cephalic, deafness, and one HIV+ child (with CP). Some have poor constitutions frequented by pneumonias and during the cholera epidmemic several of the children devloped cholera but all improved.
Mai Edwin (Management Committee, widowed, son with Cerebral Palsy)
Maybe this is a calling for me, having been given a disabled child. Through having this child, I have been able to know many more people than I would otherwise have; and I have been able to attend all kinds of workshops and through those learned a lot. For me it is very special to have a disabled child, because the Lord has trusted me to be able to take care of him. After all, I am "Mai Edwin!" ("mai" translates "mother of")
The dolls have been lovingly made by one of the Batsiranai women as part of a program organized between Batisiranai and Oxfam Australia. Sister dolls are made, with one doll going to the buyer and one doll given to a Zimbabwean child.
You can give a unique gift to a loved one, a gift that brings joy to two lives. By purchasing two dolls, you keep one and the sister doll remains overseas with a needy child in Zimbabwe from a family affected by HIV/AIDS. The dolls are individually named and decorated and are made from cotton fabric and dressed in traditional African costumes.You can join in this campaign at any time, simply let us know that you are willing to pay for two dolls and you can improve the lives of two children!
The dolls have been a big hit, with more than 35,000 dolls sold over the past two years. We have just expanded their product range, adding a "mother with baby" doll to the collection. For each mother and baby doll sold, Oxfam shops will give a dollar to Zimbabwe breastfeeding clinics to support HIV and AIDS education.Zimbabwe is in deep crisis: more than half the population faces hunger as a result of severe food shortages, inflation is running at 231 million per cent and the economy is in freefall. "The only wish I have now is for Batsiranai to grow bigger, and become an even stronger business so that we will be able to help others," Batsiranai member Mai Chiedza says, "because there are many people out there, just like us, wishing."
Despite the deepening crisis in Zimbabwe, the women are determined to continue making the dolls. Lynn Poole, who has played a pivotal volunteer role in getting this project off the ground, says it's a case of triumph over adversity. Join in the doll campaign today - support these phenomenal women and give joy to a needy child!
The mothers of Batsiranai dream of more!
|They hope to:|
We welcome retail as well as wholesale sales. And if you want to hold a house party and sell these lovely products, we have volunteers to help you set up.
Volunteers who have worked and lived in Zimbabwe can tell inspiring stories of what life is like there and inspire you with the life-saving determination of the Batsiranai mothers
Batsiranai is assisted by a small group of volunteers in the US. There are heartwarming and realistic ways for you to become involved.
Your donation will help Batsiranai to develop its infrastructure and provide the mothers with critical business training and international marketing skills. It is through your interest and support that Batsiranai can expand. Tax free donations can be made through One World Children's Fund (Once on the OWCF donation page please select “Batsiranai, Zimbabwe from the drop down list.)
Batsiranai Mothers Group, located in a poor, highly populated township in Harare, Zimbabwe, is a women’s artisan group that creates embroidered and painted fair trade handicrafts for the international market. The members of Batsiranai are mothers of special needs children. In Zimbabwe, children with disabilities and their families are often shunned not only by society, but by their extended families as well. This social isolation and the lack of community often cause the families to spiral into extreme poverty.
Batsiranai began in 1998 when fourteen mothers of disabled children formed a support group. Their talent for embroidery inspired them to begin making handicrafts to provide an income for their families. They named their group “Batsiranai” which means “helping each other” in Shona, the local language. When the handicraft project begun, these families were underfed and hungry, now the Batsiranai motto is.... “Batsiranai has made us, FAT AND FATTER!"
Their drive and determination for success brought them to the attention of Lynn Poole, an American from San Francisco living in Zimbabwe. Since 2001, Lynn has been their full time volunteer and business mentor. In June 2009, Lynn was the recipient of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s “Unsung Heroes Award” for her steadfast commitment to the families of Batsiranai.
During the last 5 years Batsiranai expanded and purchased 2 houses that are used for their daycare, Physical Therapy, workrooms, office, and housing for 3 families. The centre provides hot meals and a vegetable garden for the members and children working there.
Sales of Batsiranai products have allowed the group to expand to its current size of 100 members. It is self-managed by a committee of seven elected members. The group makes decisions as a team and is proud of their level of cooperation.
In Zimbabwe, Batsiranai is registered with the government through the Zimbabwe Parents of Disabled Children Association (ZPDCA) with a registration number of WO7190. Batsiranai is a member of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), in addition to nonprofit status under the umbrella of One World Children’s Fund of San Francisco, California.
Batsiranai is indebted to the support of Oxfam Shop Australia, Ten Thousand Villages (USA), Rokpa Trust of Zimbabwe and Global Exchange Store and to the many volunteers and friends of Batsirnai who have given their time and hearts generously to the Batsiranai mothers.