“We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole world. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.” “

 

—Nelson Mandela

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It was the artwork that initially drew Edmonton writer Annette Wentworth to The Keiskamma Trust in 2006 after viewing the Keiskamma Altarpiece at the International AIDS conference in Toronto. She eventually visited the impoverished rural community in the Eastern Cape region of South Africa while writing about art and AIDS activism in that country, inspired by the stories of the people, the culture and its changes, which were expressed through the stitched tapestries created by the local Xhosa community. Annette eventually moved to South Africa, intending to complete her book, but instead she became deeply involved with the management of the Trust from 2008-2014. At the same time, in 2008, along with a group of friends, she began The Keiskamma Canada Foundation in order to raise funds for the community in South Africa that she had became so passionate about.

Since its inception in 2008, The Keiskamma Canada Foundation has organized and supported local and regional fundraisers in Canada, raising awareness of the work of The Keiskamma Trust and providing opportunities for people to purchase the beautiful handmade embroideries for which the Trust is so renowned. Keiskamma Canada works hard to raise awareness of the communities in the Eastern Cape that still struggle in the face of endemic poverty, social injustice, and the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and have built a community of supporters in Edmonton that have been active for over ten years. In a spirit of partnership and solidarity, we have raised funds through various events, beginning with several ‘Art for ART’ (Anti-Retroviral Treatment) evenings with the generous support of local Edmonton artists who have donated their works for auction with all proceeds going to the Trust. In recent years we have hosted fund-raising dinners with speakers and silent auctions, and we continue to sell the embroidered products from the Art project in South Africa throughout the year.

For more information about The Keiskamma Canada Foundation, or to volunteer or purchase art products, please contact us at info@keiskammacanada.com

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Our programs are supported in part by the Community Initiatives Program International of the Alberta government.