I have a confession to make! I don’t like shopping and so it’s something of a paradox to me, to persuade you to ‘buy Bushbells’. For any newcomers to this newsletter, it was our trusted and loved colourful Kikoy Pull-ons that kick-started our very first fundraising campaign to build that very first classroom. You helped do this with your valued purchasing power!
Since those heady days, we’ve diversified a little - but not much. Our essence and ethos are the same. We’re a small community with people at the heart of what we do. Four tailors, a beadworker and a few basket weavers create our collections.
Personal favourites at the moment are the new colourful Sisal Baskets that have just arrived. Use them to store logs, shopping or shoes. Use the smaller ones for bathroom/study/bedroom ‘tidys’.
I LOVE my Key-rings and they always make fabulous little presents. They’re 100% made from all off-cuts, so happy sustainability going on there.
And I’m never far from a Kikoy or two. Have a browse. And for this weekend only we’re giving away – yes GIVING away, a beaded Maasai Bracelet with every order.
Looking beyond our little horizon, I had a lovely chat with my friend Lucy Booth who has just returned from Kenya. She runs Kenya Treks – a travel company set up to help a group of Kenyans run bespoke trips for small private groups in and around Nanyuki on the north west side of Mount Kenya - just near the Equator. Kenya Treks arrange high quality camping trips on the mountain and in the wider Laikipia region, and give back to their local communities. Have a look if something like this whets your appetite, I highly recommend them.
And aside from all things Kenyan, another organisation I love to support (and they’ve supported us) is School in a Bag: born out of the Piers Simon Appeal, a charity, set up in memory of Piers who sadly lost his life in the Indian Ocean Tsunami on Boxing Day in 2004. School in a Bag delivers rucksacks filled with stationery, learning resources, eating utensils and a hygiene kit to disadvantaged children around the world. To date, the initiative has delivered over 133,000 SchoolBags to children in 52 countries. SchoolBags distributed internationally are numbered and trackable via the School in a Bag website - however, in October 2021, School in a Bag developed an unbranded and non-numbered SchoolBag to provide for the influx of refugees who are resettling in the UK. To learn more about their response to the conflict in Ukraine, please read more here.
The cost to sponsor a SchoolBag is £20 and to ensure equality amongst the beneficiaries, the SchoolBags are all identical with brand new contents within each consignment. Perhaps you can give someone a little bag of 'hope' this year? After all, "Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of any burdens behind us". To fund a SchoolBag, please click here.