For those who don't know, before settling in Istanbul, I have been working in the field of international solidarity for about ten years. I knew very early that I wanted to invest myself in NGOs with the secret hope that one day I'll join the United Nations!
This choice of career was motivated by a desire to help people in difficulty and to give meaning to my work.
I was also influenced by my family circle because a large number of my family members worked for important international organizations; and then, in hindsight, I think working in the direction of the African countries was important because it allowed me to make a connection with my continent of origin.
I feel like I'm repeating myself in each of my newsletter, but since the creation of Kelen, I really often have meaningful and beautiful encounters. Today, I'll tell you about Stella Romana Airoldi, founder of the foundation 22 Stars.
Her project touched me because it perfectly represents my past aspirations and joined my current project of promoting artists from the African continent.
A project filled with hope...
Let's go to Uganda, a country in East Africa surrounded by the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan and Tanzania. Uganda is part of Great Lakes Africa. This country went through many episodes of violence since its independence in 1962. The situation is stable today but the consequences of the years of war are still palpable.
In 2009 years after the war that had shaked the north of the country, Stella Romana Airoldi came to Uganda for her researches related to her thesis. She met women living in camps in the Acholi quarter, in the Kampala region (capital of the country). She was touched by their journeys and impressed by their artistic talents and their ability to create jewelry with recycled paper. In 2012, she launched the foundation 22STARS by putting its creativity at the service of its women and helping them to structure themselves in order to sell their jewelry on the international market. It starts with a group of women from this Acholi quarter and then in 2015 with a second group living in the east of the country.
These inspiring 25 women inspire respect because most of them are uneducated, affected by HIV / AIDS and victims of war. In my opinion, one of the strengths of her project is that part of the profits made through the sale of jewelry is used to finance the projects of the foundation. These are schooling projects, English classes and training on income-generating activities. Thus, not only do women increase their income, but also they receive an education that will eventually give them certain autonomy.
Artistically yours, Daffa