Giving Back

Gifts with Heart

Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 7.18.57 PM Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching. It really is the perfect time of year to hold your boo close. The long cold nights of winter are perfect for romantic retreats, dinners and dates and just simply cocooning together. Even if it’s a small token of your affection, don’t be caught off guard without a little gift. Here are some of our favourite things that will make your love’s heart beat a little faster.   Something Beaded Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 12.10.27 PM These beaded Namji Dolls are handmade and absolutely exquisite. Traditionally these would be given to a bride on their wedding day and are imbued with good energy to help with fertility. Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 12.11.27 PM The Monkey Biz beaded animals are another fabulous gift. These are one-of-a-kind pieces created by women artisans in South Africa. Not only are they elevating South Africa’s beaded arts and bringing them to an international audience, Monkey Biz is also a not-for-profit that employs and trains women and reinvests funds directly into the community to better empower these women.   Something Ceramic ceramicteddy-55-andcat-125 clementina-80-ea A vase or a delicate piece of ceramic or pottery is also a lovely gesture. Fill it with flowers, favourite teas or chocolates to present the perfect present.   Everything Aglow candlesnuffers-25-ea Beautiful candles, accompanied by this handmade candle snuffer is a great way to set the mood of a room. Who doesn’t love candle light?   Special Storage Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 12.09.55 PM boxes-colour-15-20 A pretty box not only is a lovely home accessory, adding texture and a dash of colour to your tabletops and shelves, they can also hold your most treasured things. With or without a gem inside, these boxes are a perfect way to say you treasure what your love does.   Pampered Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 12.09.44 PM Nothing is more pampering than breakfast in bed. A tray like this one is exotic, beautiful and romantic in its own rite and will make a fabulous accessory long after Valentine’s Day is gone.   To romance! To long lie-ins in bed! To time spent with those that make your heart go pitter-pat!

The Incredible Work of Education without Borders

Unseen-Hero-3Have you heard of Education Without Borders? It’s a very special charitable organization established right here in Canada with a mandate to support the broadening of educational opportunities in disadvantaged regions across the world. They believe that it’s education and skills-building that opens doors to allow individuals to exert greater choice and control over their lives. While their mandate is global, right now, their primary focus is on Fezeka Secondary School in the township of Gugulethu near Cape Town, South Africa.Education without Borders is deeply involved with this community. EwB has decided to focus on this one area to really dig deeply into the issues that face the community, address root problems and invest in infrastructure. They are in the middle of a 5-year plan to improve academic outcomes in this heavily populated and very poor region. Some of the issues addressing this shanty town include:

  • High rates of violence and crime as the region wrestles with the aftereffects of Apartheid. The drop-out rate in high school is very high and there exist serious infrastructure problems including a crumbling school, overcrowded classrooms and dedicated teachers who lack proper resources and supports.
  • The region has a whopping 60% unemployment rate. And it’s this poverty thats’s the underlining issue limiting progress.

photography1 Having built new primary classrooms, EwB is expanding tutoring services at the secondary level, specifically addressing strengthening students’ literacy and mathematics. They have also introduced arts programming (with a focus on singing, dance and photography) which has united and inspired students. With EwB’s support, new adult learning and career counselling services are in place to help address part of the socioeconomic problems.   Their after school and tutoring programs include hot meals. So not only are do these programs provide safe spaces for kids and teens after school, they are also provided the only hot meal many of these students get in a day. Purchases from Snob include a donation to Education Without Borders and I am so proud and pleased of the work being done at Fezeka Secondary School. Won’t you consider clicking over to their website for information on all that is being done? It’s truly moving and impressive.