Story 4: Demetria the Star Crafter
4th October 2021
“Made under African skies, BFZ stars are handcrafted from traditional citenge fabric by our community group members, each one is unique and beautiful.”
BFZ offers small start-up grants, allowing community members to buy the materials to craft the stars, and then buys the finished stars from the women at a fair price. The stars are easy to transport and now decorate many a Christmas tree in the UK, Switzerland, Canada and beyond!
The community groups BFZ supports are full of tough, enterprising women. The kind of women who face one challenge after another and keep on finding solutions for a better future. A few years ago, we faced a problem. Citenge handicrafts were being sold for vital additional income, but the method wasn’t working for everyone. Women had to travel to our centre to use the sewing machines, which is a major hurdle if you live in a rural community miles away and care for several young children!
The solution? Hand-stitched stars which could be made at home by anyone with the patience to perfect the skills required to craft them.
Some of the women have re-invested the profits they have earned to buy solar lamps to allow them to work (and the children to study) after dark, and even to launch new small businesses. You could say that these stars are helping to make the stars of the future.
We offer the stars for a suggested donation of just £1, and any profit we make goes back into supporting BFZ’s other projects, like the Makangala Preschool and our sponsorship programmes.
Demetria is an enthusiastic star crafter and explains the benefits for her:
“There are challenges being a woman in Zambia, especially the rural women. It is hard to find things to do like business and work and to care for the children. I really appreciate the skills imparted to me in learning to sew the stars. The money raised from the stars helps in paying for school fees for those children not on sponsorship and buying other essential things that are needed at home.”
If you could host some stars at your workplace or in a community setting, please contact us and we can provide you with a presentation box and collection tin.
10 Years, 10 Weeks, £10K!
To mark our 10 -year anniversary, members of our trustee board and other supporters have embarked on an ambitious challenge to walk/ cycle/ swim or even kayak the length of Zambia and raise £10,000 to continue to expand our life changing work. This week the team have travelled a collective distance of 132km to virtually reach the tiny town of Siashona in Zambia’s Southern Province.
If you would like to support their efforts you can donate here.