When we at Royal Design Studio Stencils launched the Raven + Lily Designer Stencil Collection in the Spring of 2014 it was with two goals in mind: to interpret Raven + Lily's chic global aesthetic into unique patterns for home surface decoration, and to help raise awareness and fund education for HIV+ women in Ethiopia, Africa. This education includes health, parenting and life skills, and business training that helps transition them from a desperate situation into one of empowerment and purpose. We donate 20% of the sale from each stencil purchase from the Raven + Lily Stencil Collection to Tirzah International, who leads this worthy cause.
Tirzah International explains: “The nation of Ethiopia is suffering from extreme poverty and HIV/AIDS. This deadly pandemic has left millions sick, homeless and destitute. Hundreds of patients are taken to Entoto Mountain to be cured by "special waters” or die. The majority of these are women with children. With no way to support themselves or their children, and little to live for, these needy women are without hope. Tirzah International is joining our local partner to minister to these destitute women and children. Our outreach ministry to them provides Bible teaching, prayer support, health care and education, school fees and supplies as well as micro-enterprise training and production of unique jewelry, spinning and weaving of cloth. Once too weak and discouraged to get out of bed each morning, these participants have new meaning, purpose and dignity. Hundreds of women and their children are benefiting from this outreach.”
The Women’s Empowerment Program provides these HIV positive women with health screenings, medical care, personalized support, business training, parental skills training, health education, cotton-spinning machines, and tutoring and school supplies for their children. These women, who had previously been earning a maximum of $1 per day, are now able to support themselves and their children.
Tirzah's non-profit partner in Kenya, Homecare Fellowship, owns a stunning prayer retreat center in a beautiful, forested location in Nairobi. The renovation creates a local source of long-term funding for the empowerment programs that support education and small business training for women and children impacted by poverty and HIV living in Kibera, the largest informal community in urban Africa.
As Tirzah's first local sustainability initiative, the Homecare Retreat Center renovation project utilizes thoughtfully sourced materials and designs from across Kenya and East Africa. Through the renovation, dozens of local Kenyan artists received sustaining work during COVID-related shutdowns, including women in Tirzah's small business programs!
In addition to Royal Design Studio Stencils, this renovation project features handwoven rugs, handcrafted lighting, hand blown glass, locally made ceramics, hand carved furniture, vintage textiles, and murals from local artists.
The stenciling project was done by a group of Kenyan and American volunteers and the team at Tirzah. A group of 6 Kenyan young adults volunteered for 5 days to implement the beautiful designs in the bedrooms. These young men and women are from the Kibera Informal Settlement and received an education through Homecare. They are on their way to attend universities next year and hoped to give back for all the support they had received.
We are so grateful for the opportunity to have a direct and positive impact on the lives of so many women in need! If you would like to help contribute to this mission please consider shopping the Raven + Lily Stencil Collection for your next painting project, OR you can contribute directly to Tirzah International here.
Read more about our history with Raven + Lily:
- Raven + Lily: Design with a Purpose
- Stencil Collection: First Launch
- Stenciling Raven + Lily Flagship Store