On November 18, 2011, Glenwood Springs, Colorado was the location of a successful fundraiser for the Sisterhood Exchange Program. Nancy Reinisch, the mama of OHR Executive Director, Chas Salmen, turned her house into an all-day market and showcased products made by the Sisterhood Exchange Program of Mfangano Island and the Imani Workshop of Eldoret, Kenya.
Friends and family were treated to a visual feast of table after table of over 125 aprons hand-delivered from the island. The SEP women and men tailored and beaded the aprons on the treadle sewing machines donated by the women of the Roaring Fork Valley, CO. The different “sister” apron styles are named after three native languages spoken on the island. Shoppers could buy a short “Dada Apron” (Swahili for sister), a beaded, medium-sized “Nyako Apron” (Luo for sister), or a long and beaded “Omwala Apron” (Suba for sister). Each apron was crafted by the SEP with a labor of love and no two were alike. Each apron came with its own “her-story card” and the mission of the SEP.
In another part of the “market,” a table was filled with jewelry and unique crafts hand made by the SEP. Beautiful beaded bracelets, necklaces, earrings, stuffed dolls, accessory kits, and bags decorated the table. Special handmade mama and baby African dolls were a popular gift!
Over 75 people shopped at the open house and together they raised over $1700 for the HIV+ women and men of the Sisterhood Exchange Program. These funds guarantee that the women and men will continue to have a fair-trade income through the SEP cooperative. And more importantly, it guarantees that they get a chance to support each other through the stigma and challenges of “living positively” with HIV.
To make a donation to the SEP Program click here. To place an order for aprons please contact Nancy Reinisch, SEP Liason at nrein [at] rof [dot] net.