To help with the COVID-19 Crisis we’ve destined all funds collected to date to the Afrikable Foundation
In April of last year, part of the PDPAOLA team embarked on an adventure to the Kenyan island of Lamu to volunteer for the non-profit organisation Afrikable.
For those of you who might have missed our previous story, Afrikable is a non-profit organisation founded by Spanish-born Mercedes Cascajero and Lola Serra with the mission to empower the women of Lamu through work, education, and promote fair trade as a tool for change.
During our stay, we enjoyed the company of amazing and inspiring women that taught us lessons beyond anything we had ever imagined. The experience motivated us to create the Aisha collection, launched in September of last year. To do our part, we decided to donate 5% of the proceedings to the Afrikable organisation.
Now that a year has gone by we're pleased to announce that, to this date, with your help we've collected € 20.000. This comes at a critical time as, now more than ever, the funding be vital to help them fight the current health emergency brought upon by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has also reached Kenya.
From the bottom of our hearts at PDPAOLA, we want to extend our deepest gratitude to all of those who in one way or another have helped Afrikable to continue to do their job the best they can. Whether it's a purchase, a direct donation or even just a message of courage, every little bit helps make a difference in the lives of countless women and children.
THANK YOU. IT’S ALL THANKS TO YOU.
Jael Levi, photographer at PDPAOLA, shares her insights a year after volunteering at Afrikable
"Since I came back I think they did more for me than I did for them", says Levi, adding it can feel kind of selfish in a way. "It's a shock emotionally speaking. It's an experience I can't stop recommending. The affection you receive every morning when you arrive at Afrikable, the children welcoming you, how you develop small relationships with women," that she explains are more reserved.
As someone who describes herself as a city girl, Lamu was something totally new to her. "I've always chosen to travel to cities, but it doesn't mean I never wanted to make a trip like this one," adding that perhaps she had not had the opportunity or "maturity" to do it before.
One of the things that impressed her the most was the light of this beautiful island which she considers to be very 'visually attractive'. "It is a warm, reddish and bright light, the contrasts of light and shadow.
It made me think of what the day to day must be like for them, which to me was something unthinkable: serenity."
During her stay there, Levi spent most of the time with the kids and who she described "tireless." We tried to paint the walls of the school, and I say tried because a group of us had to make sure the children stayed away from the fresh paint.
She recounts that she also helped with cutting leather and realised it wasn't for her, "I probably gave them more work because they had to fix what I had done."
But one of her most special moments came when a woman gave birth one day. She explains that when a woman gives birth, the rest of them dance to celebrate, and she was invited to join. "I don't know why, but I started crying, overwhelmed with emotion. Even now, I still think it was one of the most exciting moments of my life and I don't know why."
Levi is convinced the experience in Lamu with Afrikable was an important learning in her life. "I've grown up in a completely different culture, I can't say I'm doing things now differently from before. However, my days there, helped me get my priorities in order," and adds that now she doesn't give too much importance to things that don't deserve it.