The Batsiranai Craft Project is based in a highly-populated township outside of Harare known as Dzivarasekwa. “Batsiranai” translates as “helping each other.” The project supports mothers with severely disabled children living under challenging circumstances. In addition to living with extreme poverty, these families often suffer from stigma related to local beliefs regarding the origins of disabilities. Added to the stigma, many are living with HIV/AIDS (25 percent of Zimbabwe’s population lives with HIV/AIDS). The Batsiranai income generation project allows women to work near their homes, and thus support the needs of their families and to be available to care for their disabled child.
Batsiranai is a member of Zimbabwe Parents of Disabled Children Association (ZPDCA), an advocacy organization registered with the Government of Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Social Welfare. Within ZPDCA there are 600 families with severely disabled children living in various townships around Harare. The original Dzivarasekwa group consisted of 24 mothers. The sale of handicrafts has enabled members to reach out to include additional mothers from other townships near Harare. Now 140 mothers with disabled children work with Batsiranai, scattered in townships around Harare. The dream of the project is to grow so that all 600 families may participate in the group’s success and “help each other.” Purchases from Ten Thousand Villages are an important part of this growth.
Ten Thousand Villages began purchasing from Batsiranai in 2008. Ten Thousand Villages sells “Twin Dolls” from Batsiranai.
- Artisan Products