In 2007 UK based beading group Minerva Beaders decided to support the work of group member Sally Plummer in supporting a remote rural primary school in Zimbabwe, Southern Africa. The result was Minerva Spirals, a beading book packed with easy to create beading patterns based on a simple spiral technique. All profits from the book are given to the communities of Bangari and Tsokodaka and since the book was launched, beading enthusiasts the world over have embraced the idea that beaders can help make a difference.
Minerva Spirals ihas now sold out of a second print run with copies mailed to every continent. The result is that we are able to make a real and continuing difference to the lives of the children in their communities and primary schools. (Tsokodeka primary school and creshe pictured above).
We are busy preparing a new beading publication for launch in 2013, but meanwhile work continues. If you would like see more and to help by making a direct donation please visit the Ambyua Foundation website, you can also purchase a bracelet kit (see below) or join our simple send a pencil scheme.
Whilst we wait for what is proving to be a great book (I've seen some of the projects, you will love them!!), here is a reminder of what we do...
It's hard to imagine just how tough life is in a remote african community when are used to having so much, harder still to relate to the devastation and extreme hardship that results from a poor harvest, the out of control inflation and the difficulties of simply surviving. With your support our Minerva Spirals book has enabled us to achieve so much...
First we shipped a container full of the most basic of equipment, including pens, notebooks, pencils, blackboard paint, chairs, desks and a much needed wheelchair. Our cargo travelled via container ship, lorry, landrover and canoe and arrived safely despite the disruptive political situation.
Next, we were able to supply secure and regular finances to build teacher accommodation, fencing and basic sanitation in the form of a toilet block. The teachers have also started a goat keeping project, to help educate the children and to provide a local income for the schools. We also continue to gather together and send out equipment including Singer sewingmachines for the local women's group who make school uniforms for the poorer children, plus funds to purchase educational and text books locally.
Despite the political and social difficulties, and because of the overwhelming support of the beading community we have really good news for 2010...
Work has started on new buildings to accommodate a secondary school, and with your continued support our primary school children can now look forward to continued education as they grow up. Our support is not simply financial, many community members and teachers have told us how amazed and grateful they are to know there are people from far away places willing to help them create a future for their children.
Heather has designed an 'Albion Stitch' Kit exclusively for the Minerva Project, try her new stitch and help support our schools at the same time for just £5.00 plus p&p.
If you would like to make a more direct contribution we have a 'Send a Pencil' Scheme. The schools are still desperately short of basic supplies and a few pencils, erasers or sharpeners in and envelope, sent by surface mail, are most gratefully received. Please send to Hilda Wallace who will ensure that your gifts are distributed to the children. If you would like an acknowledgement for your gift, please put your name, address or email in with the pencils.
The address to send to is: Hilda Wallace, Ambuya Foundation, 20 Leroux Drive, Hillside, Harare, Zimbabwe.
Thank you for your continued support for our project, your enthusiasm is proving daily that, 'Together our beading can change the world'.