Special-edition, Congolese-inspired TOMS Shoes
We're teaming up with Giving Partner Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI), an advocacy and grant-making organization founded by Ben Affleck, on two Congolese-inspired designs with an additional give. Read More >>
TOMS x charity: water - An Eyewer collaboration
TOMS and charity: water, an organization founded in 2006 (like TOMS!) that’s dedicated to to helping bring clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations, join forces for the first-ever TOMS Eyewear collab! Read More >>
Giving TOMS Shoes in the DRC
Founded by Ben Affleck in 2010, ECI is an advocacy and grant-making organization that works with and for the people of DRC, the third most populous country in Africa, and one that struggled under a cycle of violence for nearly 20 years – particularly in the east. Read More >>
While visiting Buckner in Peru, the Giving Trip team learned how art plays a huge role in a child’s development. “Art, in general, helps kids to be aware of what things are around them. They can express and learn in a healthy way,” Buckner’s Giuli shared. Aside from using art forms as a tool to teach healthy habits like hand-washing and wearing shoes as Giuli does in her puppet shows, art also offers children a creative outlet of expression and a sense of self-esteem and ownership. Giving Trip participant — Maricor, a textile artist from Australia — wanted to hone in on her artistic talents to work with and leave behind something special for the children of Buckner. Read on to see how she helped transform a plain white wall into a masterpiece.
In the morning, we went to Buckner’s Community Transformation Center for mural painting with a group of children from the community. I’ve got to say, I felt a huge responsibility to Buckner and the children to create something special for them. I really wanted to create something that would be meaningful as well as something they could keep building on and make their own…We came up with the idea of using handprints to create a pattern of various color so the children could leave their own personal mark. As soon as we arrived, you could tell the children were keen to get started. It was so awesome to see the colored paint set out, and a little daunting to see the vast white wall waiting to be painted! I learned some Spanish to help communicate with the children what colors needed to be painted in each panel: Amarillo/yellow, roja/red, azure/blue, naranja/orange, verde/green. And then we all just went at it with brushes and paint.
A terrific message and one I hope we did a good job at communicating. I knew the experience of painting the mural would be special, but I didn’t expect it to be so personally rewarding. During the first few days observing the work of Visualiza and Buckner do in supporting and providing humanitarian aid to the poor in Guatemala and Peru, I was questioning how I could help people with my art. I got to admit, there are times as a designer/artist how meaningful my work is and how it can be superficial or at least not that vital in the scheme of things. But with this mural, with the experience of painting it with the children, I was able to give something back that hopefully they would find enriching. Personally, it was very enriching and rewarding to work in a team to create something that visualized the ethos of Buckner and to leave them with a mural that the children were part of creating and that they had ownership of.