Partnering with Weya artists in strengthening self-sufficiency, cultural understanding and education is our mission. We work with women artists (and a few men) from rural Weya in Eastern Zimbabwe, buying art directly from them and selling it to people in the U.S. who are looking for beautiful and meaningful art and who want to support their artistic talents.
Women of Weya are subsistence farmers, mothers, and householders as well as artists. Most women live on their own, providing for families. Some are widowed, others are single heads of households, since throughout Zimbabwe men leave the rural areas to seek work in cities. Women’s income from agriculture is unpredictable and limited. Sales of their art help women afford food, clothing, school fees, medicines, transport, seeds and fertilizer. Since the market for Weya art in Zimbabwe is extremely limited, sales in the U.S. are critical. ZAP purchases more art than any other buyer, delivering cash at the time of purchase. Equally important, ZAP provides health care assistance to all of the artists, including special care to artists who are HIV-positive. ZAP also works with the artists and their community on special projects and funds school fees and other educational support for children who have been orphaned in the Weya area.
“I want to be somebody” is a video on ZAP’s Education Program in action. In Zimbabwe there are over 1,000,000 children who have been orphaned. Most of them have lost their parents due to AIDS. The children are taken in by relatives who are often unable to pay for their school fees. ZAP has provided school fees, uniforms, other educational assistance, and encouragement to over 100 children. This video was filmed in Zimbabwe in August 2013.