Dear Ibu Friends,
Before last week, I didn't know there was a language called Wayuunaki, or that it was the native tongue of artisans with whom Ibu works in Colombia. And I certainly didn’t know that in Wayuunaki, Sain Kai means the place where the sun rises, or where the sun in born. But now it’s top of mind, and deep in my heart—Sain Kai, where the sun is born, where light rises, where warmth and growth radiate. This place to which I am drawn in winter’s darkness, especially this year, as more uncertainty and worries surge.
Last week, Juan Sebastian Rivera Bustos and Juan Pablo Gomez Angel, our liaisons at El Dorado in Colombia, updated us on progress of the Arema Weaving Space and Primary School, funded by the Ibu Foundation. They reported that the artisan community, having defined their needs and sought funds to build these structures with local materials in their own architectural tradition, have now named the new center Sain Kai, and wrote, We can already feel that it is and will be a unique and inspiring place for all.
Friends, thank you for birthing that light, for allowing that sun to rise.
When we launched the Ibu Foundation nearly three years ago, we envisioned funding supplies and training for women artisans in Colombia, Pakistan, Morocco, Turkey, South Sudan, Haiti, India, and elsewhere, so that their specific heritage skills—weaving, embroidery, felting, beading—could be elevated and provide economic sovereignty. And we’ve done that—with more than $140k in grants this year alone. But I never dreamed we’d help build a school.
The idea made so much sense—a workspace for the weavers adjacent to a safe place for their children to learn. And even better, a space that energized the whole community as they collaborated to design and build it. Such hope, such light!
As 2021 wanes, and the sun dawns on a New Year, I am grateful to all who have supported the Ibu Foundation financially and by introducing others to our work and mission. The impact is real, and meaningful. Together we are creating a school of new possibility, in which all can learn of the radical power of beauty, of creativity and generosity, of believing in one another.
I invite you to read more about our work at weareibu.org, and to consider supporting projects like the new school and workspace in Colombia with your year-end giving. Women around the world will see the sun rising because of it.
May you find and celebrate your Sain Kai in 2022 and beyond.
All the Best,
President, Ibu Foundation