August Love Saves the Day ~ Monkeybiz
Mudras (meaning "seal" in Sanskrit) are symbolic hand gestures that have been used for thousands of years by practitioners of Buddhism, Hinduism, and yoga to guide the body's subtle energy and help realize inner states such as fearlessness, enlightenment, unity, good health, and peace. By celebrating mudra this month at Laughing Lotus, we turn our consciousness towards the hands and their great power to transform and heal. Shuni mudra (touching the middle finger tip and the thumb) lends patience; gyan mudra (joining the pointer finger and thumb) imparts intellect. Yet the hands' potential can be harnessed in other ways too and this August Love Saves the Day benefits Monkeybiz, a South African non-profit organization that brings together women to work with their hands and transform their lives.
Founded in 2000 by Barbara Jackson, Mathapelo Ngaka, and Shirley Fintz, this organization has helped revive the South African beading tradition by providing colorful glass beads to women throughout the townships of Cape Town. The 450 women who participate in the project work from home (which allows them to care for their children), creating beautifully detailed beadwork pictures, dolls, and animals which are then bought by Monkeybiz (to see their creations, click here). The project not only provides women with employment, but also empowers them and reintroduces them to a craft that was historically the domain of women in the Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele, and Sotho communities.
In addition to their beadwork project, Monkeybiz transforms lives in other ways (click here to learn more). For instance, they operate an HIV/AIDS Wellness Clinic in the heart of Cape Town, which supplies skills training, counseling, and support (including yoga) for HIV positive women. The Recycled Rubber Project trains women to create jewelery, dolls, and bags from discarded rubber tires. Since 2006, the Monkeybiz soup kitchen has been supplying hot meals to bead artists and Wellness Clinic clients. The recently formed burial society helps women cover the costs of funerals and related expenses when needed.
To learn more about how you can make a gesture that can transform reality and help support Monkeybiz, please click here. And remember, Love Saves the Day!
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