Wood carvings from Mukuni Village support artists families

Wooden figure bought in 2002

The African Artists’ Community Development Project is a non profit organization based on Martha’s Vineyard, MA. We raise money for disabled children, orphans and women’s groups in Zambia by selling crafts here in the U.S.

In 1999 I traveled through Zambia and bought a wood carving, met some honest young men and agreed to try to sell some of their crafts in the States.

Later, I decided to send the profits from the sales of their crafts back to a center for disabled children not far away from the artists’ village. Thus began the transformation from a tourist who looks at a foreign culture to a world community member who forges connections.

I visit Zambia every other year and now have connections with a women’s craft group in Lusaka. I have also started a doll-making project with the mothers and grandmothers of the children at the Mama Bakhita Home for Disabled Children.

Crafts are a sustainable resource! If markets can be found or created, they can doubly impact a community in economic distress. This is empowerment commerce!

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Suzanne Joyal February 26, 2012 at 12:23 am

Hi, We are doing similar work in a very different area of Zambia! I would love to learn more about your struggles and successes. We have developed a micro lending program in northern Zambia (Nchelenge, north of Mansa), and are just beginning to introduce art-making to the women we aim to help. Visit my Kickstarter to hear more about that (there are three days left for my project).

Beverly Laila Nickerson June 13, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Dear Marsha,
I really liked meeting you at the Yoga Barn wish I could see your wonderful puppet show my son and I used to create our own when he was younger. I will be back on the island mid july. hope to reconnect then. So delighted to have found your cause.
Light Love Peace,
Beverly Laila Nickerson

Judy Lane June 14, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Hi Marsha, We spoke summer before last at your home about the work that you do and also my work in Tanzania with the Maasai Tribe. I have a nonprofit (Ngorongoro Community Network) which runs programs in a remote village such as women’s microloans, scholarships, medical fund etc. As an integral part of my work I bring money into the community by creating a market for their beadwork in the States (they are too remote to access the tourist market). I know that you sell at the Ag Fair and am wondering what the procedure is for signing up. I am unfortunately too late for Featherstone but am going to try the OB Open Market and Chilmark. Any other suggestions from you would be greatly appreciated.

I look forward to seeing what you are selling this summer and hearing an update of your work in Zambia.

Thank you so much, Judy Lane

Antonia Jacchia October 27, 2013 at 4:22 pm

Ciao Marsha, I am impressed of the wonderful work you have been doing after your travelling to Zambia. Thank you for all you are doing. Hope to see you soon. love Antonia

Mary Vivian December 2, 2013 at 8:54 pm

HI Marsha, I am interested in your trip to Zambia. I am not working this year as the school nurse in Oak Bluffs and free to go if you have room.

Thaw Malin iii March 6, 2015 at 10:15 am

Great article in Huffington Post about you and your projects, Marsh. You should quote or post it here on your blog!



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