Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Craft Land TRADE FOR AID gives a RAEY of hope in Ethiopia

This post has been written by Kay Bruce, Marketing Manager and former Sewing Tutor for Craft Land. Kay describes her childhood as "growing up under a sewing machine"... with a mother who made soft toys and puppets as a business - a real 1980s mumpreneur!

Juggling a creative passion with a head for marketing and PR has not always been easy - for Kay, working for Craft Land is the best of both worlds!

Kay has also trained as a fashion designer and pattern cutter and designs unique, limited edition, printed silk scarves - see


Hello Lovely Reader!

Welcome to Craft Land's fab blog. Here's where we share the inner world of Craft Land with you - and show you how to make some cool stuff too!

For this post, I'd like to share with you something that touches my heart - Craft Land's support of the RAEY project in Ethiopia.

RAEY is a community school for children whose families are in extreme poverty and/or suffering due to illness.

Children at the RAEY School

Each year during Ramadan, Craft Land runs a "Trade for Aid" promotion; encouraging people to bring in their unwanted crafting tools, materials, books and machines - to donate to a charitable cause (in the spirit of Ramadan). Each year we work with a different charity.

In 2011 we worked with the Manzil School for Special Needs in Sharjah. A wonderful establishment that gives it's students confidence and experience - helping them to play a role in society and feel good about themselves. Our donations in 2011 enabled Manzil to teach machine sewing and yarn crafts to the students.

Manzil Students with the donated Sewing Machines in 2011

In 2012, Craft Land's Trade for Aid supported RAEY:

The RAEY community is still in it's infancy, with it's founder, Dr Carolyn Roesler, and her many geneous volunteers, gradually putting into place more and more elements to help those who are part of the community. One such element is a Sewing Room for the HIV Women's Centre. A place where ladies affected by the illness can learn a valuable skill and eventually produce products that can be sold to sustain the community and help them to be self-sufficient.

During Ramadan 2012 we received extremely generous donations - including two industrial sewing machines. It took some time to get the donations through Ethiopian customs (well done to the RAEY team for their dedication and persistence here!) and it might take a little time to get a venue with electricity for the machines, but once a venue has been found, the donated machines, tools and materials will be used by the teacher at the HIV Women's Centre to teach the ladies how to sew.

The ladies learn to sew by hand and on beautiful old pedal Singer machines (they don't make them like that anymore!)

Learning to Sew with Volunteer Janine de Klerk
We are looking forward to watching this element of the RAEY community grow and wish everyone involved all the best. For more information see

And watch this space.... for Trade for Aid 2013 Craft Land took donations for Dubai-based charity Mawaheb - we will be delivering the donations shortly - I'll be posting pictures and words to share with you all in a few weeks.

Until then - May the CRAFT be with You!!! (perhaps more funny for the German-speaking readers... "Kraft" in german means "strength" or "force") :-)

K xx

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