Dsenyo's Little Friends have been best sellers year-over-year. Made with cute stitching for faces, soft jersey knit tops and vibrant African textile bottoms, these Little Friends make great companions for snuggles.
But there is more to their story.
A special group in Malawi, Africa have been making the Little Friends since the beginning. It's a group primarily of women who have been afflicted by AIDS either personally or within their family. Just over one third of the women are widows who have lost their husbands to the virus; a position that often leaves women in Malawi economically disempowered and socially excluded.
The group is called Mwayiwathu, meaning blessings. One of many, this HIV Living Support Group provides a safe place for the women to talk about their struggles, counsel one another and encourage each other.
Through the wages earned in this group, the women have been able to send their children to school, pay for transportation to the hospital to get their ARVs, make home improvements and invest in other businesses. The support and skills learned while in the group have also helped develop their business skills.
Below is a link to a video of the Mwayiwathu group hand sewing some Little Friends. Watch and see how this beautiful group sings while they work. Their stories and struggles may be tragic, but their attitudes, as seen in the video, are far from sad.