April 12, 2009

Clothing With a Cause

For my service project for my upcoming Bat Mitzvah, I chose to work to help the people of Darfur and am using this post to talk about it and hopefully convince you to help as well.

"Genocide" is a sickening word. I think it's safe to say that few people like hearing it. The big red dictionary on this desk defines it as "The systematic, planned annihilation of a racial, political, or cultural group," and though this is true, the aftermath and emotions and torture go way beyond a 12-word sentence. What took place in Rwanda wasn't recognized as a genocide until it was over, arguably because no one wanted to believe that after numerous other genocides there was still one happening. Millions of people being murdered is not something we can ignore because "it's just how politics work" or "people will learn eventually." How many more genocides will it take until people DO "learn eventually," I wonder.

For years there has been tension between the African farmers and Arabic nomads in the southern region of Sudan due to the unfortunate combination of little water and lots of mouths to feed. The Africans felt the Arab government were treating them cruelly and attacked. In response, the Arab government decided to end riots by sponsoring the Janjaweed militia. Entire villages are destroyed in a single night, and the responsible ones run out with the landscape in flames behind them. They go for the young and vulnerable women and girls once the stronger males are gone and can't help protect the others, and even then there is an entire process that comes before murdering them.

To the very religious in Sudan, it is considered a crime to murder a virgin. So, the people in the Janjaweed militia force young girls into marriage, rape them as early as 2 minutes after the ceremony, and kill them right afterwords. No quick and painless deaths, there is humiliation and embarrassment and torture to come beforehand.

Pain is inflicted not only in the terms of being a victim, but seeing those you love as victims as well. Being forced to watch your mom raped or your dad killed, your daughter taken away or your son starve, your brother slaughtered or your sister forced into marriage for doing nothing except existing.

What about when the genocide is over? Then we'll have done our work, right? A genocide can't be ignored even after it ends, because those that were affected by it once will be affected by it for the rest of their lives. It's a big mess to clean up, and it will continue for years afterwards. Emotional and physical wounds need healing, and it sure doesn't take a couple months or even a couple years.

Well, no one person can change the world, so why even bother? There are already lots of people in this protest, what difference would it make if another person came? This type of attitude is too common and untrue. We are told we learn about history so we don't repeat it, but even now in the 21st century, after numerous other genocides, approximately 4 million of innocent citizens have been killed for no reason in Darfur.

For my project, I've decided to combine my passion for clothes with helping the victims in Darfur. For the next month or so, I'm putting up around 10 items of clothing or accessories- some brand new and some vintage- every week on eBay and every cent made will go towards STAND, a division of the Genocide Intervention Network. All of these are things I would wear myself; I'm not just trying to get rid of clothes I don't like so I'm not putting in anything other than the time it takes to operate an eBay store. Some of these don't fit, some I could just imagine some awesome bloggers rocking way better than me. A few organizations give the money directly to the people, which has good intentions, but more often than not these people are stolen from and end up having to buy their own medicine and food once again. The money stolen goes to the people killing them. I chose STAND because they use the money to pressure rich and powerful governments into doing something about the genocide. To learn more about STAND, click here.
These are a few items already up and a few that will be going up soon. I will be posting the items on sale here as well as at another blog I started, Clothing With a Cause, which will be linked to from here and the eBay item pages. CWAC will have more detailed photos than the ones on eBay and those that I post here. To see all the items currently listed, visit it here. I'll also update it every so often with how much money has been raised so we can see how far we've gotten and how much further we can go.

How are you supposed to know that all profits will be going to STAND? Well, to be frank, you don't. But if it makes any difference, I can assure you it will. If you can put your trust in that I wouldn't spend 2 hours writing an 8 paragraph post just to con people into giving me money, you're awesome. I feel my needs are satiated and I'm pretty well-off, the least I can do is try to help those that aren't as fortunate.
I'm not asking for donations, either. You're getting an item of clothing or an accessory in exchange for your money. You benefit, and so do the people of Darfur. I benefit by being happy to know I could help a few people at once and get a little more room in my closet.

Important links:
Clothing With a Cause
The eBay store
STAND

I am extremely thankful to those that read this whole thing and to those that bid on any of the items. If anyone wants to spread the word about CWAC, no need to email me because any exposure for the project is helpful. Just comment with a link when it's up and I will give you an internet chocolate bar and hug. And and and, thanks to Mary, who has been extremely wonderful in helping me learn more about Darfur and giving information about different organizations to look into (she actually volunteers for STAND, but was fair and provided truthful info about other places as well.) Not only is she a fantastic writer and dresser, but Mary has lots of hugely helpful posts about Darfur, the STAND program, and more history on genocides which are great to check out if you want to learn more.

Feel free to ask questions and I'll get back super quick. No question is stupid or ignorant! Since a number of wealthy governments don't want to spend time or money on Darfur, they don't educate the people around them about it. I don't necessarily believe that design will change the world, but this might help a bit.
Thanks guys!
xx

81 comments:

raincoaster.com said...

I'll post about this in the coming week on TeenyManolo.com for you. I also rt'd it on Twitter.

The more exposure the better. Good for you!

thisisweeny.com said...

Thanks for taking a stand Tavi, you are wise beyond your years and I hope your message spreads. I hope this raises a lot of money for your cause.

Nice and Shiny said...

This is a great cause for your service project, I will most definately be checking out the goods.
Thanks for writing such a well informed mini-essay here, your blog is read by so many people and if one more person can be touched, then its sure to make a difference. After all, "knowledge is power", so speading the word is the most important step to tackling any issue. This is clearly a big issue to tackle, but every little thing counts and every person can make a difference (as you said).
Again, this is just a really cool project and its going to be a success I know it. You are already a success for knowing whats right and standing up for what you beleive in.
You rock, love ya too much!

<3<3<3

Rita said...

I've been visiting your blog for these past couple days, and I must say that, though I had already noticed what a brilliant girl you are, this post just took that notion to a whole new level. Thank you for writing about this extremely important issue, for explaining it so clearly, and for encouraging so many of us to not give up and take action. You have my admiration, and I hope your project turns out to be very successful, I know it will :)

indigotangerine said...

reading all of your quirky posts and looking at all of your exuberant outfits, it's easy to forget what a wonderful 3 dimensional girl you really are. I think it's great that you are spreading awarenss on such an important issue on your blog, which is so well read. It's easy to say "oh genocide, that sucks..." but it is important to remember to actually do things to stop it. I wish you, your project, and the situation in Darfur, the best of luck.
-indigo

brodie said...

such a fantastic post about a really worthy cause. it's so easy to just take the apathetic approach of "i can't change the world so why bother trying?", but it's fantastic to see people actually doing something.

C.Lo said...

This is a great idea.
I'll help, even if only to bump up the costs of the items.
And you write really, really well.

Tavi said...

It's so nice to hear positive things from everyone! Thanks for spreading the word and the support.

Piglet said...

you're doing something great! best of luck, i'm looking forward to seeing the items as you put them up for sale.

Rapa said...

If any of that stuff fit me, I'd be bidding right now.

Annabel said...

this is a fantastic idea

Tariro said...

This is a great idea. Im African and i know that everyone's gonna appreciate this. You my dear, are AMAZING!

Tariro said...

Question, is there anything i can do to help?

PLEASE let me make posters and buttons that people can buy online or whatever. Im feeling creative.

Just reply with yes or no. Thanks!

caitlin said...

wonderful post, as always. i have not yet commented here on your blog, but have been a reader/wanted to for quite some time! :)

on a related note, i have been trying to inform everyone i know about The Rescue events being organized all over the world by Invisible Children, which aims to assist children that are orphaned or forced to become soldiers as a result of the LRA/government in Uganda. They are set to occur on April 25; those who attend create art/photo projects, write letters, and seek out media attention in an effort to petition our countries government into developing a strategy to rescue the soldiers.
You can find your city here: http://therescue.invisiblechildren.com/en/

best of luck, this is truly great what you're doing and i look forward to supporting your new Clothing With a Cause endeavor! :)

Taiger said...

Hey, I'm just wondering, is your birthday in binary years?
How come a year has past and yet you keep being a "12 year old blogger"...even in the recent Clothing for a Cause blog...
Is the precocious 12 year old fashionista image too flattering to pass up?
Again...just wondering.

Rapa said...

She wasn't 12 yet in her first few posts >_>

Fannah said...

Wow, I think you're doing a great job with this. Wishing you the best of luck! :)

Susie Bubble said...

I will peruse to see what goodies you have....this is a fantastic cause...
Oh and I did realise I was a wee bit subconsciously inspired by your half-clothing shenanigans with my latest post... merci merci

One Trick Pony said...

Wauw, very nice you're doing this! Good luck!

lumberjackie said...

You're doing such an amazing thing! Ahhh, you're now my hero!

Wends said...

wow well done!
you're so amazing and only 12....sighh
the industrious youth to a whole new level

x

Ty Ty said...

i luv ur t-shirt
http://fashionforafashionista.blogspot.com/

KB said...

Excellent post, it really touched a nerve. I'll be keeping an eye on your shop....

nadia said...

Tavi, it is really amazing that you are using your blog to spread the word about the atrocities occuring in Sudan. If you have time, you might want to read "What is the What" by Dave Eggers, it's a novel that has a lot of truth in it about the genocide going on over there. I'll definitely be linking to CWAC.

CHRIS PETRES. said...

oh thats great tavi! ill def put this up on my blog, im even thinking of doing something similar.
x

crystal. t said...

you are awesome gurl! how i wish i could be as good as you...

Tavi said...

Thanks again guys!
Tariro- I'll figure out if anything needs to be done and get back to you ASAP. It's so good to hear from you!
Caitlin- Thanks for letting me know and getting the word out :)
Taiger- I was 11 when I started, my birthday is April 21.
Susie-Flattered beyond belief to hear that from you!
nadia- I'll have to look into that, for sure.

Annie said...

this is such an amazing project. i did something similar for mine, and it's so cool to bring your love of fashion into charitable work.

bobb said...

Thanks for your wonderful post Tavi, your new blog, and your support for Darfur.

You can E-mail the White House in addition to calling.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/

I recently got a letter form one of my senators per my call about Darfur. A form letter, but at least it shows they are paying some attention to calls. Keep calling everyone!

Emily said...

I think your idea is amazing. I recently did a project on the genocide in Darfur, and they reallyyyy need help there. For my Bat Miztvah I donated some money to local Holocaust survivors. You're helping a cause greatly in need, I will definitely try to bid on some clothes. (: Good luck at the Bat Mitzvah btw.

selinaoolala said...

fantastic, i will be watching the auctions intently

Sharon said...

I put up a link to this post and another to the CWAC website. Thanks for being such a good soul Tavi!

owkaholiic said...

That's so great, combining two things you love. I'll try to get the word out through my tiny blog. x)

~Violet

Isabel said...

This is completely wonderful! It's nice to know that some fashion people actually have a heart.

allie said...

You are wonderful!

jem and mad said...

reading your essay on the subject reminded me of my own bat mitzvah, 3 years ago, and the project which i chose to focus on, with was malawi. i comend you for doing something to help the people of darfur... you chose a very big issue, but you are proveing that not matter your age, you can do something to help, no matter how big or small it is! btw could you please check out my blog http://framestheworld.blogspot.com/
thanks! :)

Yuka said...

you are so awesome, im really happy you are doing this. it inspires me to do something of this sort as well.

Tariro said...

Okidoki. Ill need an escape from my evil algebra book so the offer is ALWAYS open. Good to hear from you too. :]

ariela♥ said...

That is a great thing you're doing, tavi. What a great service project. I wish you all success.

Belinda said...

This is a fantastic idea! I love the idea of using one's interests for a social cause. I am actually in the midst of planning something similar to your project: i'm in love with knitting, and wish to sell knit items to raise money for WWF, a nonprofit that fights climate change, species extinction, and pollution. It's still in the beginning stages, so i can't link you to anything yet, but i can definitely tell you more about it later if you're interested. Anyways, you're doing something really great. I admire you to a srsly high extent. :)

mimestyle.blogspot.com

Becca Jane said...

this is a fantastic idea! I will be checking this out and letting people know as well - such an important cause to be supporting..

Shayla shut your eyes said...

you're fantastic! :) oh, pumpkin what a great thing you're doing. I'm going to continue to follow you and keep up with your blogging. :) such a babe. ;)

S.I.Q. said...

very good idea!!
:)




-Chloe for Opening Ceremony
-Johnny Depp as Duchamp
on
http://siqlogic.blogspot.com/

An (ex) alien in new york said...

I could talk for hours about the rwandan genocide. It would turn int a rant at some point.

Why does the UN recognise the complaints of the sudanese government as they sabotage the UN Human rights mission? WHY DO THEY TREAT IT AS A LEGITIMATE POLITICAL ENTITY WHEN THEY SPONSOR THE RAPING, Pillaging militia?

I'll definitely link this. FOr some reason 've been coming across alot of fashion/africa projects like Suno recently. MAybe the world's getting a conscience?

An (ex) alien in new york said...

Hmmm... I reckon I have some size 36 classic ferragamo flats you could put up for auction. I could send them to you if you sell them (I don't have a sellers account).

An (ex) alien in new york said...

Hmmm... I reckon I have some size 36 classic ferragamo flats you could put up for auction. I could send them to you if you sell them (I don't have a sellers account).

alice said...

This is a brilliant idea! I hope you raise alot of money! xxxx

Tavi said...

Again.. infinite thanks for all the links and ideas, guys!!

bobb-Ah, great link! In 4th grade I got their number from a rally and a bunch of us left them separate voicemails on the same day.

Isabel- Haha I don't know if I'm a "fashion person" but thanks as always, love xD

Belinda- Very cool! Do email me with a link when you feel like it.

exalien in ny-HA! Yes, maybe the world is.. also, those flats sound AMAZING, I can't thank you enough.. email me and we can figure somethng out? tavitoons@yahoo.com

Natalie Creed said...

Hello, what a wonderful cause. I'll be posting the CWAC link on my blog, don't have a bunch of readers yet, but hopefully it'll help a little. I hope that you will be successful in your project! x

http://nccreed.blogspot.com/

Bianca and Isabella said...

love the first dress
xx

the crumpet girls
http://crumpetsandt.blospot.com

KD said...

This is quite an admirable post, Tavi. I sincerely hope that all goes well for you and your STAND-funding.

Corinne said...

Amazing idea! I hope everything goes swimmingly.

BTW-I didn't know you were jewish. Me too. Have fun at your Bat Mitzvah, its a good ole time.

Huey & Dewey & Louie said...

aww it's so great you're doing this you're such a nice person! good luck with your wonderful efforts ;)

channy xx

Tarah said...

I've enjoyed reading your blog and can't believe you are only 12! You have quite an ecclectic style, good luck with whatever you decide to do.

*** said...

It is very thoughtful and sincere of you to do this.

Hanna said...

You are SUCH a better person than me.

We need to talk and wallow in shallowness together, like pronto. And oh, bunny video!

Gun Street Girl said...

I would just like to say that you are pretty much the most awesome person ever, and you make me feel like an immature, unaccomplished piece of butt. You know, in a good way.

Good luck with this project; what an amazing and selfless idea.

Jasmine said...

hi tavi!

1. first of all, what a great cause! i'm about to hop onto your ebay page and check it out.

2. i just stumbled across your blog. i seem to be out of the loop...annnnyway, i love it. you seem like an amazing person - very unique and comfortable with you are and who you're becoming. i love that. i hope you try your hand at everything you're interested in. you seem like the kind of person who could succeed at anything.

3. i really don't have a #3, but it doesn't look like a proper list without one so i'm leaving it! good night!

Jasmine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GraceFace said...

Thank you so much for this post, it's great to know that people cares about this cause (:

Freya said...

how generous of you, Tavi! You are awesome.

- Steph said...

it's really great that you're thinking of others and helping charity, good on you

Mary said...

i am technically supposed to be on internet hiatus as I have only finished half my exams but Tavi i love you / this more than words could ever explain.

Erina said...

Just saw this post. It is so awesome that you're doing a project like this for your Bat Mitzvah! You are a seriously inspired and inspiring girl. I'll definitely be bidding on something soon. I wrote a post about your project on my blog, let me know if it's okay!!

N O O D L E S said...

Wow, you're amazing. I mean, to have the guts to do something like that! wow. And you're totally right in what you say. I hope you get a lot of money for your project. Really, good luck :DD

Irene said...

Great post again. I love your blog

R. said...

I am impressed both by your compassionate project and by your eloquent and compelling writing on the subject. Good for you for doing what can for an important cause. I wish you the best of luck.

the-girl-i-hate said...

For such a young kid, you really do have a big heart <3.

Cruz said...

Tavi this is such a great idea, it's great to see someone trying to make a difference! :) I'll let you know if I find anything good to sell.

shaheemie said...

You are such an incredibly smart girl! I hope this all works out for you!

And I hope you'll do well on your bat-mitzvah. :)

- another jewish girl

Cerisa said...

just wanted to say well done.

alice said...

clothing with a cause is a really good idea, have you considered continuing the project and getting other bloggers and fashion enthusiasts involved?

People often just want to own something that somebody else who is 'famous', 'efamous' in this case, has worn publicly. It could go really far.

Mads said...

This is such a great idea! Some of my friends and I are organizing a 5k run/walk for Darfur (and we did it last year too, so we get to use the words "2nd Annual" in the title :] ). We're donating our proceeds to the Save Darfur Coallition, but it's cool to see that other people our age (or a couple of years younger, actually-- we're 16 and 17) involved in this cause. Good luck with this project and with your Bat Mitzvah!

theswellelife.com said...

Hi Tavi,

I hope this helps:

http://www.theswellelife.com/swelle_life/2009/04/clothing-with-a-cause-look-good-help-darfur-.html

Denise xx

shot in the arm said...

Just wondering if the last two photos are the same item or 2 different pink items? Don't see those on your ebay so wasn't sure if they were sold or haven't been posted up yet.

Great idea :) mel

ADELE said...

Great idea ! The floral dress and the floral suspensers are soooooo beautiful !! If my mother agrees, I could maybe buy them ! Do you can say to me if you sell them in France ? Thanks ! For the response, leave me a comment on my blog, hippie-hype-hourra.blogspot.com.

adamson said...

This is a great post. Well worded, too :)

If you look at my profile, I have a blog about ending genocide in Darfur and elsewhere. I found this by chance on lookbook, though.

Take care, and I hope that you're able to make enough money to donate to STAND!

-Jennifer
spegn.blogspot.com

s | theory said...

i think i was playing with the sims when i was 12. Kudos on your bright endeavour !

Nicola Henni said...

I love so much the hat!!

thebelljarbird said...

Is there an address to send some clothing donations?

marissa said...

it s great to see young girls aware and pro active. great job!