ABOUT TIMBALI CRAFTS
We LOVE our products--and hope you buy a LOT of them--but what we really LOVE is our story.
Here it is...
The women who create Timbali Crafts are all volunteer cooks at community based feeding centers, called Care Points*, throughout Swaziland, Africa. In this tiny nation with the highest HIV/AIDS rate, and lowest life expectancy in the world, the needs are immense. In spite of their own hardships, the Timbali women help to feed more than 2500 children each day. They are incredible!
(For more info on these amazing women go here.)
Timbali started in 2006 (a bit by accident!) to reach out to the physical and spiritual needs of these hard-working women. At the request of a local pastor, we started a Bible study with some of the women to encourage them in their volunteer work. It quickly became evident that something more needed to be done so that these ladies, who were serving their communities in such a vital way, could also provide for their own families.
So we started praying…and we made some really ugly greeting cards (blessings to any of you that bought those!). We didn’t have any start-up money, but a friend heard what we were trying to do and gave us $150 to buy our first little batch of fabric. Eventually we started making handbags (which also had some issues at first!) that have evolved into the beautiful products we produce today. What we first thought would just provide a little income here and there for a few women, has become a major source of income and outreach to 100+ Swazi families!
REACHING OUT TO PHYSICAL NEEDS:
In a country where 2/3 of the population lives on less a dollar a day, what the Timbali women earn per bag is equal to a full day's wage for many jobs in Swaziland.
Timbali Crafts helps the women to purchase their own sewing machines through no interest loans with minimal monthly payments. The women are also given the opportunity to participate in a matching savings program, to help with school fees for their children and other big expenses such as home repairs.
Timbali reaches out in emergency situations with food baskets for families who have lost a loved one, or have a special need, and we also help to provide medical care when possible/needed.
REACHING OUT TO SPIRITUAL NEEDS:
The Timbali women are able to take part in regular Bible studies, and also attend our annual retreat where they are spoiled, laugh a lot, eat a lot, sing a lot, dance a lot, and have the love of Christ poured out on them! It is the highlight of our year!
Timbali means ‘flowers’ in the Swazi language, Siswatti. It’s also the word used to translate ‘lilies’ in Matthew chapter 6, where Jesus talks about how as his children, we don’t have to worry, because He knows our needs and He can meet those needs better than we ever could ourselves.
That is the heart behind Timbali Crafts: that we would see the Lord’s provision. Not just for the needs that are obvious (and extremely important!) like food, shelter, and education; but also for the deeper needs of the heart like love, acceptance, forgiveness, self-worth, joy, hope…all these things and more that are so perfectly found in Jesus Christ!
Thank you for supporting Timbali Crafts. We couldn’t be more thankful or amazed at what the Lord has done!
Be blessed and start shopping!
Timbali Crafts is a ministry of Pour International, a U.S. based 501 c3