Amplify Africa, Women's Summit
by Darryl Gouws on Oct 11, 2018
What an amazing week! Kidz Positive was invited to the Women’s Summit Conference, organized by Amplify Africa. This valuable opportunity gave us the chance to talk about our project and sell our beautiful range of items to women from several African countries who attended, wanting to learn more about how to set up their own business and gain inspiration from hearing stories from the several exhibitors present, as well as the speakers at this stimulating conference.
Danell Wilson-Perlman arranged the conference via her project Amplify Africa. During the day, a number of women spoke about their struggles and victories regarding their attempts to start their own business and were able to ask questions which received informed and practical suggestions in the replies given by the knowledgeable speakers. Encouragement was given regarding how they could and should keep their momentum going in pushing their boundaries and facing their fears.
We were inspired by all the women who spoke up. Both the delegates and attendees at the conference shared visions about how the world could become a better place for all. The message of Sharon DeMattia, describing the AIM project, which sees created resonated with us. The project itself is completely inspiring, yet the way she told the story of how the project was created, was even more so!
The AIM project is about ‘ telling’ your own story and feelings through art(see the postcard above, which demonstrates several of these pieces of artwork done by participants in one of her workshops). She has travelled to many different countries, recognizing that this way of expressing one’s self and one’s feelings this way, allows one to feel more able to ‘open up’ as opposed to talking about issues, which people often find more inhibiting.
As for our market stall, the beaded scarves were a great success, as well as our SA flag pins.
Monday, Sharon, Danell and Meg came to our office in Salt Circle to learn more about our project. Sharon spoke to the mothers about the AIM project and handed out the cards she uses for this to the mothers, (which have an outline of a head and upper torso on them), asking them to feel open to expressing their feelings regarding the head and heart, any emotions they may be feeling, using the drawing to unburden themselves. It was a cathartic experience for many, some of whom were able to discuss deeply emotional issues with Sharon after this process facilitated their emotions to surface.
To illustrate what the participants need to do and the purpose of not showing the face was that one should not judge people by their appearance or first impression and that these blank sheets could ‘receive’ all the feelings, either happy or sad, fearful or joyful, that the participants might be feeling. There was much sharing between everyone in the office after the women had completed their artwork, having had a conduit by which they could feel very comfortable to express what they felt and seeing one another’s work, this helped them to appreciate issues their friends were experiencing.
Sharon engendered a trustful space with encouraging and supporting words for all participants before they started their artwork. This subsequently resulted in some remarkable artwork.
A special thanks to Danell Wilson-Perlman, Meg, Meghan, Sharon and all the other people who spoke up at the Women’s Summit. It was a real privilege to attend.