"If you buy this dress, you would be helping to change the lives of children in Africa, Asia and around the world."
TOSHA MAGGY (UGANDA) / Africa Business Coordinator, NPO Terra Renaissance
1. Please introduce yourself; tell us what you do and where you are based.
My name is Tosha Maggy, and I work as the Africa Business Coordinator for Terra Rennaissance, an NGO which can be found within Africa in northern Uganda, Burundi, and Congo. Currently, I live in Uganda.
We work to support people who have suffered as a result of conflict. As I am sure you know, there are many countries in Africa which still endure the torment caused by fighting. Congo is a perfect example. We aim to provide the children in such places an environment without the fear of hunger or conflict, where they can feel safe, and where they can all equally have opportunities for the future.
2. Please tell us what you like most about your Unissograff product.
I am so happy today! I feel so comfortable in this dress. I received this dress from some Japanese people - designers came here from Japan and had our children draw their dreams and then they made this dress. Wow! It is a very nice dress!
I love the patterns. I love the colours. And the way they have designed is really like African fabric. When I wear this dress I feel even the material is very nice, you can work with it... maybe if it was a little longer! But I love it, it makes me feel so fabulous.
Actually, I was wearing it and took a picture, which is on my Facebook page, and my friends were asking me 'where did you get this dress?!' and I was like 'hmmm, you can check the website!'. Because this dress is really fantastic - don't I look beautiful?! I do feel so! I feel beautiful!
You know, in Africa, these kind of colours make us feel so beautiful. That's why our colours are brighter, because we are always bright and smiling. So thank you so much for this beautiful gift!
And I think that everyone, anyone can wear this - they are African colours but I think anyone can wear this dress.
Also, one more point about this dress, and why I love it so much, is because, for example, if you buy this dress and you wear it they have some percentage which goes to support children, which is what we actually do at Terra Renaissance.
3. What attracted you most to the Unissograff art-piece that formed the basis for this product's design?
Some designers from Japan came here to Gulu, a city in northern Uganda where we work to support children, and had them draw their dreams. At the same time, they held a workshop where they transferred the footprints from folk dances that the children in Gulu practise every weekend onto sheets using paint.
This dress is printed with a Unissograff design that is a collage of these footprints. It is a very creative and wonderful dress. Because I am wearing the collected dreams of African children.
4. What aspects of what Unissograff is doing do you identify with most?
At Terra Renaissance, our philosophy is to see children living in this world peacefully, without hunger, and with equal education - Unissograff is doing a really great job to help with this and that is why I really love this dress.
If you buy this dress, just know that your money is going to change lives for people in Africa, or Asia or in different parts of the world. I think Unissograff is doing a great job. If every business-man or business-woman would do this, I think we would have a very stable situation.
Because when you look at it, many people - thousands, millions of people - are dying of hunger. Millions of others eat too much - they eat too much. They waste their food and throw it away. But think about this: if you could save just one dollar, for example, out of your expenditure and share it with someone else, you would be changing lives.
5. How do you think you might be involved in Unissograff's activities in the future?
I would like lots of people to know about Unissograff's activities.
We all spend money for lots of different things, like clothes of course, but often do not feel any connection. If you buy this dress, however, it will help support African children who do not have any money to spend.
People in Africa have to deal with a lot of hardship such as HIV/AIDS, hunger and conflict. I think that there are many people who would like to support them, but they might say that they do not know how or where to support.
If you buy this dress, it is a chance to support children in Africa. I hope many people will buy this dress!
interview courtesy: Tosha Maggy (UGANDA) / Africa Business Coordinator, NPO Terra Renaissance
*Ms Maggy's dress is printed with the Unissograff design "Footsteps of Peace"; created using a collage of painted footprints collected on sheets as children from Gulu city, which has seen the worst of warfare, performed their traditional folk dance celebrating love and peace.
<Tosha Maggy PROFILE>
Africa Business Coordinator with certified NPO Terra Renaissance
Born in the Republic of Burundi in 1980. Lost her mother as an infant and raised by her father.
At age 7, her father was killed in the Burundian Civil War genocide and her brothers disappeared. Travelled through Congo, Tanzania and Kenya as a refugee before coming to Uganda, aged 13.
In 2005, came across Terra Renaissance and became a local staff member, resonating with their idea that 'every individual has the power to shape the future'.
Currently, as Africa Business Coordinator, Tosha engages in on-site activities while supervising business facilitation in Uganda, Congo and Burundi.
WEBSITE / http://www.terra-r.jp (Japanese language only)
FACEBOOK / http://www.facebook.com/terra.ngo
Global Giving Terra Renaissance / https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/reintegration-for-former-child-soldiers-in-uganda (English language)