#MandelaDay: Artisan Spotlight: Streetwires

Happy Mandela Day! Today the world has convened to celebrate the iconic revolutionary’s 95th birthday, as well as his 67 years as a leader, activist, and revolutionary. Nelson Mandela’s ceaseless fight for equality and justice not only impacted South Africa, but the entire world. After his 27-year imprisonment, Nelson Mandela became South Africa’s first black president. The years that followed were a testament to the fight that he refused to lose. South Africa’s apartheid policies had been abolished, and a country was reformed for the better. Even after his term as president, Mandela never stopped being a changemaker. He continued to be a voice for peace, inclusion, justice, and equality. Nelson Mandela is not just an icon, but a symbol of humanity’s greatest potential to resist that which is wrong, and fight for that which is righteous.

In honor of changemakers, we would like to put the spotlight on our South African artisan partner, Streetwires!

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Streetwires is a fair trade organization that works with Zulu wire art craftspeople, who mold recycled wire, beads, and tin cans into colorful toys, keychains, jewelry, and gifts. Established in 2000, it provides training, support, and raw materials to over 100 formerly unemployed men and women in Cape Town and rural Clanwilliam. Streetwires has expanded its reach, opening a center in Johannesburg in 2007 which was then turned over to entrepreneurial artisans. Its goal is to develop leaders who demonstrate to the community that it is possible to start a successful business despite challenging circumstances.

When Victoria Ntulini joined Streetwires, she was entirely unfamiliar with the craft process, explaining that tools such as pliers and cutters were mainly used by men in her culture; now, she is a loom-beading expert and in charge of materials distribution to the entire team of artisans.” (Source: globalgoodspartners.org)

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   We, at Global Goods Partners, are fortunate to have partners all over the world who are changing their communities for the better. Through the medium of artisanal works and handicrafts, organizations such a Streetwires are invoking hope into those that are despondent, and uplifting those that have been knocked down. So on this Mandela Day, give back to your community!

The Nelson Mandela Foundation is asking that you spend 67 minutes of your day giving back, and helping out! Any act of kindness is welcomed to commemorate the South African activist’s fight for freedom and equality. You can make a new friend, or volunteer at a soup kitchen! Check out the official website for 67 ways to give back! http://www.mandeladay.com/static/join

Also, check out our website to purchase the phenomenal goods featured in this post from Streetwires!

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