Jackman, Maine (PRWEB) June 25, 2014
WearAfrica, a start-up philanthropic organization that sells original African products designed and made by native people living in Sub-Saharan Africa today, launched a new on-line store designed to promote native African culture in the U.S. while providing a mechanism to invest profits back into Africa initiatives.
The concept of WearAfrica was inspired by founder Bryan Watkin’s time in the Peace Corps. He began helping the people of Kanzala with aquaculture (fish farming) and the improvement of production management. Profits from WearAfrica are invested in small and large-scale African developments. Each month, 20% of WearAfrica’s profits are returned to native organizations and the Peace Corps that support local initiatives. By investing in a sustainable manner, WearAfrica will provide support to grassroots organizations and projects that are village or locally led, with 10% provided to a selected Charity of the Month that is focused on improving an African development. The other 10% is given to individual Peace Corps volunteer projects.
As part of Watkin’s mission to cross-integrate American and African cultures, he wanted to initiate a conversation through tangible products that shared a story and cultural significance in Africa. “When I was immersed in the culture, I realized that the American perception of Africa was not entirely true,” said Watkin. “The culture there is so complex and the people and landscape are beautiful, I wanted to share this with Americans, and I believe WearAfrica will help to foster meaningful conversations and understanding.”
WearAfrica sells handmade art, jewelry, and crafts which include copper, metal, cow bone, and poly bracelets, African painted wood masks, hand carved wooden bowl sets, Kenyan olive wood salad servers and more. On Watkin’s frequent trips to Africa, he travels to villages and collects artisan pieces mainly from Zambia and South Africa, however also styles and crafts unique to Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Malawi, and Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Watkin, a Maine native and 2009 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, began his service with the Peace Corps in 2011.
WearAfrica products can be found and ordered online at http://www.wearafrica.org. For more information, please contact contact(at)wearafrica(dot)org.