COVID-19 is causing massive disruption to the lives of our artisan partners in Rwanda as well as just about everyone you know. We are being told to stay at home and batten down the hatches. How can we reach out and show love to those near and far? Thankfully, there are plenty of ways! Read on to find out how you can show some love and support artisans without spending a dime.
1. Follow us: Connect with Azizi Life partner artisans and our work in Rwanda by following us on Instagram at @azizilife and @aziziliferwanda and on Facebook. Banish mindless scrolling with purposeful, intentional connection into the lives of our artisan partners – invite the beauty of their products into your feed, read their stories, and prepare to be moved and inspired.
2. Share your experience: Do you have Azizi Life products in your home or have you visited us in Rwanda? Now is a great time to post on social media or message your friends and family and tell them about your experience. Shared experiences mean far more from people we know, and your story is one that just might ripple outward into the lives of your friends and family and, ultimately, the artisans.
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Tuesday tidings of JOY! Our team traveled to Muhanga in rural Rwanda to understand normal daily life for Rwandans. Eight gracious artisans welcomed us to their cooperative called Ahumurava which means “a courageous people.” Their beautiful crafts are sold through @aziziliferwanda. We were taught how to peel cassava and taste tested as it was put to boil. We cultivated the soil after the rain, tried our hand at cutting grass with a hand tool, and walked to fill containers at the water pump sourced by a mountain spring. After a lunch of cassava, sweet potatoes, beans & avocado (so good eaten by hand?) we observed how sisal plant fiber is cut, dipped in dye from Kenya, dried & crafted. And each of us was patiently coached on making our own bracket! We needed a language translator, but many things were easily understood; a mother’s love, sisterhood in Christ, praying over each other, dancing and humming to each other’s songs, and knowing that our help comes from the maker of Heaven and earth. As they thanked us for spending the day, my tears fell. I can’t explain it. It was so precious to hear that I “looked Rwandan”. I’ve never done ancestry tests to know where in Africa my family originated. ?But my sweet Rwandan sisters kept wiping my tears and patting my back. I belonged to them and it wrecked me! Know this- on a lovely hillside in Rwanda, the glory of God was on full display today through these 8 change makers! #2019InvestinginDreamsTrip #flourishinglife ?@jessicasteddom
Have you just added the final woven bowl to your wall mural? Share that photo and tag Azizi Life and use #azizilife! As many countries shut their borders, perhaps your mind is transported to the lush beauty of a Rwandan hillside where you spent the day with your artisan hosts…Why not share a snapshot of that experience with friends and family? Reminisce – share the stories of the artisans you learned so much from that day. Let their stories bridge the divide and reach into the isolation of those you know.
3. Spread the word: Do you have a favorite local boutique or fair trade shop in your community? Message them or make plans to swing by and tell them about Azizi Life! Share your favorite Azizi Life item and let them know we have a wholesale team. While you’re at it, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us how to connect with them! Wholesale orders are a hugely beneficial source of income for our partner artisans and can sustain them through temporary dips in demand. Never underestimate the power of ‘word of mouth’:
72% of people get news from friends and family, making word-of-mouth the most popular channel for sharing.
61% have recommended a local business to someone they know by word of mouth.(Pew Research Center; BrightLocal)
4. Interact with us: A simple “like” or share on social media helps expand our network into yours. It’s the name of the game these days. You can help us beat those pesky social media algorithms!
Building an online community is most important to brand awareness and word of mouth referrals, with average rankings of 8.87 and 8.52 on a 10 point scale, according to marketers.(Referral Rock)
5. Sign up for our emails and get a one-time 20% off promo code! Need we say more?!
6. Pray for us: Pray for the Azizi Life leadership team and partner artisans as we move forward in an uncertain time. It’s our belief in God and His unfailing love that compels us to act, and it’s our hope in Him that guides us in all we do, whatever the circumstance. He is present and working in our pain, our sorrows, and our joy.
7. Host an Azizi Life craft sale: Would you like to offer your community the chance to support Azizi Life partner artisans? Host a craft sale! Simply pick a place (like church, work, or a market event) and date (we recommend around the holidays!), make plans to provide setup, and we will ship you items best suited for your event! Start the process by learning more!
8. Ask others to donate: You can also share donation opportunities with your friends and family. Would they like to see adults who missed out on essential education learn to read and write for the first time? Share our Adult Literacy Impact Project with them. Their gift could provide one year’s tuition for a student or a part-time literacy teacher’s salary.
They may wish to donate to our renewable resource program, which allows us to offer discounted cooking stoves and toxin-free solar lamps, which in in turn enables Rwandan families to begin improving their health, efficiency and family income right away!
Learn about all of our Impact Projects and donation opportunities on our Donate page!
So there you have it: 8 ways to support artisans without spending a dime. You’re welcome! Have any other ideas? Feel free to let us know, and remember to ‘like’ and share this post on your social media channels.