Design Thinking: Shop for a Cause

Picture of people weaving a basket

Another week in the Design Thinking class means people are getting more passionate about the cause and the projects!

One of the students, Erin, decided she would take her commitment outside of the classroom and talk to her employer, SERRV, about hosting a fundraiser. Best part? They said yes!

SERRV is a fair-trade clothing and accessories store located on State Street. They will be hosting the fundraising event, the proceeds of which will go toward the Kenya projects and the education of girls in Gatunga, Kenya.

The event will be a great way to learn more about the class, the projects going on in it, and is a great opportunity to meet the Kenyan guest of honor, Aniceta Kiriga!

And there will be food (that should be enough on its own).

WHERE: SERRV – 224 State St, Madison
WHEN: Wednesday, October 22 from 5:30-7:00
HOW WILL MONEY BE RAISED? SERRV will be donating a percentage of retail proceeds to the cause during the specified fundraiser time. Personal donations will also be accepted.

More information about the cause from the Design Studies Class:

“In October of 1995, Aniceta Kiriga said no to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Female
circumcision rates where at 99.5 % in Kenya and many girls had become seriously ill from the
As a community leader in Gatunga, Tharaka Nithi County, Aniceta felt that she was in a position
to make a difference. She began the Tharaka Women’s Welfare Program (TWWP) as a
community based organization that reaches out to rural villages to advocate, educate and
mobilize the community by raising awareness of the harmful effects of FGM. TWWP’s greatest
success has been in establishing an Alternative Rite of Passage (ARP). The ARP is a weeklong
event where adolescent and teenage girls throughout Tharaka Nithi County gather to learn
about relationships, sexuality, development, and human rights. This is all in lieu of FGM.
Graduates of the ARP also qualify for scholarships through TWWP. However, TWWP is a nonprofit
organization that reply’s solely on fundraising efforts and there is never enough money for
all of the girls to attend school.

In collaboration with UW students at the School of Human Ecology, TWWP is working to
develop alternative ways to support the girls and their families. UW students are working
towards developing a maker studio in Gatunga where women and girls can work together to
create products to sell and/or to improve the quality of their lives. Students are currently
designing innovative products that solve problems such as water collection and purification
while utilizing the materials that are readily available in the region. Equipped with the tools,
supplies, and learning materials needed to make products, the maker studio is intended to be a
learning environment rich with possibilities for the women and girls. Areas of learning may
include skills such as; bee keeping, soap making, sewing, weaving, and furniture building. In
addition, workshops may be held on entrepreneurship, women’s health, and food security
(through the planting of trees, farming, and goat keeping). Towards this effort the county chief
has donated a building for the studio, but funds are needed to supply the equipment and get the
studio up and running.

Reflecting on this we have decided to host a fundraiser event to raise money for ARP and the
Maker’s Studio. The fundraiser will take place on Wednesday, October 22nd from 5:30 to 7:00
pm. It will be held at SERRV (a non-profit, fair trade store) on state street. There will be a short
introduction and then attendees will have the opportunity to purchase items at SERRV to raise
money and/or make personal donations as well as meet Aniceta in person before she flies back
to Gatunga.

We appreciate you taking the time to read this and we hope to see you at the fundraiser!

Thank you,

Erin Schulenberg, Lesley Sager and the class of DS501: Design Thinking!”

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