Sunday, July 18, 2010

Imvelo Eswatini: Clay + Creativity

Rebecca Olivia Moore

The Imvelo Eswatini Story

Imvelo Eswatini is a fusion of passion and creativity, tradition and modernity, social commitment and love for Swaziland.
Imvelo Eswatini was established in 2007 by Manzini Youth Care, a Salesian, Catholic NGO working with marginalised youth in Swaziland. The Salesian order was established by Saint Don Bosco, and it was his mother, Mama Margarita, who was the inspiration behind Imvelo Eswatini. Early widowed, Mama Margarita struggled daily to bring up her own children before going on to support her son in caring for hundreds of orphaned boys. The director of Manzini Youth Care, Fr Larry Mc Donnell drew a parallel between this remarkable woman and the women of Swaziland. Imvelo Eswatini was developed in consultation with these women and is dedicated to providing a fair and sustainable source of income, enabling each women to provide for her family.

Handcrafted Accessories

Today, Imvelo Eswatini is a thriving small enterprise, working with over 25 women from informal urban settlements who carefully and lovingly craft each accessory by hand. Every woman is trained and supported by this innovative project, which combines contemporary and traditional creative skills. Imvelo Eswatini believes in fair trade and the empowerment of their employees and has recently become a member of SWIFT (Swaziland International Fair Trade Association) to show their commitment to the fair trade practices whilst also hoping to raise awareness amongst their customers.
Imvelo Eswatini strives to create products that are beautifully unique therefore no two products are ever the same. Each piece is handcrafted from beginning to end by a woman, and through her hands she allows her creations to tell her story, making each accessory uniquely soulful. The varying colours and shapes embodies and celebrates the very beauty of the handmade process, allowing each product to be as individual as our customer.

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