Team Empathy Journal – Part 7
Continuing our blog about this time of global crisis from the perspective of a voluntary team, taking each day as it comes. Thank you for reading.
Last weekend saw the launch of our fabulous Rainbow Campaign. So many heart-warming words have come our way:
“These beaded curios take me right back to happy times … I would love to brighten up a little lonely low patch.”
“I wish I could send them across the world.”
One friend wrote to say how wonderful it was to be able to “shift mindsets with a simple trigger.”
As our Innovations Manager, Sandy says, “It’s been a huge privilege to be conveying the beautiful messages that people are sending.”
So it’s probably time to meet our Rainbow Makers … the Vashavi, the amazing artisans behind these symbols of hope.
Based in Cape Town, Patmore Mphepo and his team of 12 work from home – a house with two bedrooms (some of the artisans sleep in the sitting room). They start work each morning at 6am, crafting Rainbows and other gifts by hand. The best days are when an order is received. On other days, the craftsmen go out and sell what they’ve made on the streets. But selling like this is nigh on impossible with the current crisis, and life will become even harder in the coming months as Winter arrives in South Africa.
Patmore and his co-workers are from Zimbabwe, but came to South Africa with the aim of earning money to support their families, which is why “nothing makes us happier than having orders, meaning that our families are taken care of.”
Patmore continues, “Selling handicrafts makes a huge difference to our lives and that of our families. The money is spent on sending our kids to school. Some buy medication for their family members which is in short supply in Zimbabwe.”
The men take great pride in their craft, and are passing on their skills to younger people who have followed in their footsteps in search of a better life. They also love “putting smiles on our family members’ faces when they receive trinkets from us.”
We asked Patmore what his greatest fear is. He replied, “Going without work, knowing that at the end of the month we need to pay our rent and send groceries home to Zimbabwe.”
Patmore hopes that in the future he and his team, “might work from the comfort of our own country.”
He also hopes that the people who buy their gifts “know that they are making a difference not only to the artists but to their immediate families.”
If you would like to send a Rainbow to a special person you care about, we still have a few left. Thank you so much for your support.
Stay in touch, keep connected and take care of yourselves – and others.
#chooseempathy #rainbow #lockdownlove #hope #giftsthatgivetwice