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Vancouver Designer Uses Fashion to Save the
Ancient Culture of South Sudan Nomadic Cattle Camps
While, at first glance, fashion might seem to have little to do with the ancient culture of South Sudan cattle camps, The Obakki Foundation’s Founder and Creative Director Treana Peake clearly sees a strong connection. In fact, her new Preserved in Timecollection is inspired by the shades, colours and shadows of the very cattle camps she is working to save.
Peake, an active philanthropist, mother and wife, heads up The Obakki Foundation, a unique non-profit based in Vancouver. At The Obakki Foundation, fashion is used as the main fundraising vehicle and Peake and her team use creative campaigns and authentic storytelling to engage and inspire consumers to support their projects. And 100 per cent of net profits go to the charitable work being done. Not a part of the profits, not a percentage – all of it. To date, they have raised close to $2.5 million for initiatives focused on providing education and clean water for communities in urgent need in South Sudan and Cameroon.
Proceeds from the Preserved in Time collection will build water wells for the nomadic people of the cattle camps in the far-reaching corners of South Sudan. Clean water is a valuable resource that is in such short supply in the region that it is considered a crisis. The people of these camps are being forced into conflict with each other over access to water needed to sustain their people and their cattle. They are the last truly preserved society to roam the African terrain alongside their revered cattle. With 80% of the internal conflict in South Sudan emanating from these battling cattle camps, there are political threats to dissolve the camps, extinguishing this culture’s ancient way of life.
To better understand the challenges being faced by these historically significant cattle camps and to hear from the tribespeople themselves about the negative effects of the water crisis on their youth, their culture and their way of life, please watch the five-minute video of Peake’s recent visit to South Sudan: http://obakki.com/campaign/preserved-in-time/
At a cost of $10,000 per well, Peake is hopeful that their focus on building wells will help to alleviate the growing conflicts between the cattle camp tribes. “With the provision of water, we hope we can help these cattle camps create a sustainable framework for peace, health and growth,” said Peake. “The people purchasing an item from the Obakki collection get a stylish piece that has a very real connection to the culturally significant nomadic cattle camps. Tribespeople get fresh water and a chance at a peaceful, sustainable existence.” She added: “We’ve been told by customers that these items are conversation starters, since each piece reflects the world that the cattle camp tribes have lived in for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.”
The Obakki Foundation is working with the United Nations on this project. Said Peake: “We have launched a pilot project in one of the UN-identified hot zones, where we will drill wells and livestock watering stations. If this project is successful in breaking the cycle of conflict, the template could be used across all areas of the country – preserving a historical culture, rather than destroying it.”
Shop the collection: https://shop.obakki.com/ca/collections
About The Obakki Foundation
Treana Peake, founder of Obakki Designs and The Obakki Foundation (www.obakki.com), has been involved in humanitarian ventures that make positive change in the world for more than two decades. Obakki Designs is the creative arm that makes the products used to fundraise for the Foundation. Obakki Designs absorbs all of the administrative fees, from business cards to travel expenses, so that 100 percent of all public donations and 100 per cent of net profits generated from Obakki sales go directly to The Obakki Foundation’s humanitarian projects. Whether you buy Obakki products or make a donation to the Foundation, you know your money is going to help people in urgent need.
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