Article by Rheba Estante
Enthusiasts of Feng Shui advocate about the importance of balance and flow when deciding on your home’s interior design. Living in the Bay Area, it’s not unusual to hear people speak about “good vibrations.” Some schools of thought believe that the kinds of items in your living space can also influence the “vibe” of the environment. Whether or not you buy into this kind of approach to home décor, you can opt to buy eco-friendly furnishings that are hand-made by women in East Africa for the non-profit BADALA.
BADALA was founded by Joelle McNamara after she visited Africa in 2008. McNamara witnessed firsthand how poverty robed impoverished women of their human dignity. BADALA has since offered microfinance opportunities to these women and their families to help them achieve self-sufficiency. One of the ways in which BADALA encourages self-sufficiency for these communities is through selling their handmade items. The 2013 Fall collection represented the spirit of these African women who designed various eco-friendly home furnishing and fashions.
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Some of the unique items in the BADALA collection include:
• Aztec Chombo Basket: handmade with sisal fibers reflecting Rwandan tribal designs.
• Kuni Utensil Set: handcrafted by Kenyan women using olive wood.
• Tamu Bowl Set: Also made with Rwandan sisal fibers.
• Kitenge Laptop Case: Designed in Kenya with traditional tribal print patterns.
Every item from BADALA are handmade and their work enables them to escape from exploitation, abuse, or resort to begging. BADALA give these single mothers a chance to earn an income, obtain training to run a small business, and save their earnings. BADALA uses the profits from their item sales towards funding scholarships for orphaned or impoverished children to attend school.
Want to decorate and earn good karma? Shop BADALA.