This year Christmas feels more than a bit special to us. It's our second Christmas at Print Ark and we've had a great year helping creative businesses be discovered by homeowners looking for unique wall art and decor.
But, this Christmas is particularly special because we're doing something different.
For someone different.
Over the last couple of months I've been gathering donated gifts from Australian small businesses (and an awesome New Zealand business too!) and last week we launched our first Print Ark Charity Auction, with 100% of the proceeds going to The Bandari Project, a charity in Tanzania.
Why them and why Tanzania I hear you ask?
My family and I are about to embark on a “big adventure.”
We have sold our house, packed up our belongings and are heading off for 12 months travel with our 3 young children, with our first stop Tanzania, Africa.
This story begins 9 years ago, pre-children, when my husband and I travelled to Tanzania to volunteer and explore for the year. Our time there had its challenging moments; illness, the language barrier and adjusting to a different way of life.
However, it was the friendly faces, warm hearts, rich culture, adventure and wildlife that we always knew would see us want to return. Little did we know it would be with 3 children in tow.
I love travelling and to slow down and really spend time to experience a new culture is my favourite way to do it. I have found volunteering a great way to do this, and it also gives you the opportunity to share your skills and make a difference to a community project.
Through volunteering you meet people you would never meet in normal travels, you learn from them, and get to experience their life and share yours with them too.
Our Next Adventure
Now, 3 children later, we began to plan our next travels. We had itchy feet! and after 6 years of living the FIFO life (Fly In Fly Out) we were ready to spend time together as a family.
Should we wait until the children are older? Were we crazy? Doubts and questions were many, but we decided that we never know what life is going to bring us, so if we had the opportunity, we should take it and run with it.
We knew Tanzania would be on our itinerary, we wanted to visit friends that we had kept in touch with and to share the experience with our children. To do this we wanted to see if there was a way we could volunteer as a family, to give them the chance to see and live a different way of life too.
We had met the now founders of the Bandari Project while in Tanzania and from afar had watched them build the organisation that it has become today. As such, it was an easy choice for us when we were looking for somewhere to approach, and we are thrilled that we are able to spend time at the project next year.
Our Chosen Charity- The Bandari Project
The Bandari Project, in Mto wa Mbu, Tanzania, is a not for profit organisation that aims to provide quality education to vulnerable children.
They currently have two classes, Kindergarten and Grade 1, and plan to add a new class every year until they have a full primary school.
Developing a sewing project is also on the agenda, where they aim to teach marginalised women new skills with the goal that they will then be able to gain employment in this area.
In addition to this, they are also working on being as self-sustainable as possible. With hundreds of chickens, a fish farm and greenhouses where they grow their own vegetables, they sell produce to further create funds for the project.
How you can help this Christmas
This year, Print Ark is hosting a Charity Auction and has chosen the Bandari Project to receive 100% of funds raised. This will go directly to the project and towards helping them achieve their goals for 2019.
The Auction is being held on the Print Ark Facebook Page in the Charity Auction photo album HERE. You can go to the album now and check out all the goodies inside and place bids on your favourites before bidding closes at 9pm on the 6th of December.
You can also donate directly on their website, there are no administration fees and 100% of your donation will go directly to the project! How awesome is that!
Shop Small this Christmas and Make a Difference
The Christmas spirit is definitely flowing through Print Ark at the moment. We have been so inspired by the number of businesses who have joined us for our Charity Auction to raise funds for the Bandari Project.
Each of the products available in our Charity Auction has been generously donated by the businesses below- hardworking small businesses who have given something out of the goodness of their heart to help a faraway community.
We would like to say thank you to these businesses! And you can too, by visiting their websites and supporting them this Christmas. Many have amazing deals on at the moment and we know that they will be able to help you out with your Christmas gifts and more.