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Thank God For Oxfam

June 6th, 2007 (05:21 pm)
sick

current location: Bit of a Downer...
current mood: sick
current song: Simon & Garfunkel - The Only Living Boy In New York

Was out shopping for my mum for her birthday on Saturday, and found the most amazing thing waiting for me in the Oxfam shop. My mum is one of those really difficult people to buy for, mainly because these days if she wants something, she’ll just go out and buy it. It’s such a turn around – when we were young, it was easy when it came to birthdays and Christmas, because we were so poor that there were always at least a hundred and fifty things you wanted. As a buyer, you were bound to win so long as you bought something on that vast list. But now – now, she’s not only a working girl as opposed to a stay-at-home mum, but she’s in demand and gets paid a tonne for her services, which has led to the list of wants and needs getting significantly shorter. What do you buy a person like this? I found myself wondering as I vainly walked the streets of that wondrous town know as The Berra. In the end, I decided that Oxfam was the way to go. At least their gifts give twice, even if the person you initially give the thing to doesn’t think it’s that crash-hot. Besides, I’ve been feeling extremely guilty at how remiss I have been lately re: my quest to save the world one starving, sick and frightened Palestinian baby at a time. Stupid work has been making me push them aside in favour of trying to con people out of their hard earned money, which breaks my heart. I thought, even if they didn’t have any goods for sale from Arab countries, it might ease my soul a bit to get back to basics. Even just standing in the shop, soaking up the vibe of the place and the looking at the beautiful, beautiful things they have for sale there, might do some good. And did it. Did it ever.

I haven’t given mum her present yet, but she doesn’t understand how the internet works so there’s no fear of her getting on here and seeing/hearing about it before she gets it. As soon as muneek_may and I saw them we stopped whatever it was we were doing and just stared, and no matter where else we went around the shop, they kept drawing us back. I thought, not only would I have to get my mother one of these, but I’d have to get one for just about every other woman I knew. They were too special, not to mention important, to keep hidden from the world.

They were dolls. Just dolls. Beautiful handmade dolls, made by a group of Zimbabwean mothers with severely handicapped children. And when you buy one of them, its twin is given to a child in Zimbabwe who is suffering from HIV/AIDS.

These women are part of the Batsiranai Craft Project. Batsiranai (which in the Shona language means "helping each other") has bought a house where the women not only do their craft work but get to learn management, business and marketing. The house also provides day care for their children.



The caption on this doll reads:
"Hello...my name is Jane and my sister is Josephine. Josephine is in Zimbabwe and I am in Australia. For every doll you buy, a twin doll will be given to a child in an HIV/AIDS affected family in Zimbabwe."



Isn’t that just the most beautiful thing you’ve ever heard? These little kids, they’ve got nothing – they live in slums, they’re in pain, they’re sick, they’re hungry – but we can give them at least a little bit of comfort as they go through the rigours of their treatment and the disease itself.

Support Oxfam today, guys. They do fantastic work throughout the entire world. They need us. And so do those kids. And I don’t know about you, but I would rather tighten my belt a bit and eat Homebrand, or God forbid paint my own nails, rather than deny little children like these something that might help them be just that little bit braver in the face of something as horrific as AIDS, which most of them were simply born with, and as such couldn’t help contracting.


Comments

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: June 23rd, 2007 03:13 pm (UTC)
Batsiranai Dolls Online

These dolls can be purchased from us online at http://www.oxfamshop.org.au/shop/dept_list.asp?ideptid=156332

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