“I have been traveling to Africa since the 1980′s.
It's a place I've always been drawn to -
and it feels like "home" each time I'm there."
The mission of LivAfrika is to help support the women and children in South Africa who are affected by extreme poverty, HIV/AIDS and gender inequality. As the founder, I personally explore and discover products from many different regions in Southern Africa and with the help of my team, bring you a wide variety of merchandise from bead work to baskets to bowls, all hand-crafted by South African women who are paid a fair wage for their work.
We go to great lengths to research and personally meet these artisans and it is my mission to source only the finest quality products by these gifted artists. My passion and desire to help was recently recognized as LivAfrika became the proud recipient of being the only certified Fair Trade retailer in the Tampa Bay area.
In 2011, I led a group of nine missionaries to South Africa. Up until that trip I had been trying to decipher my own “Divine Whisper” (wondering what my purpose was in life and how I could best serve others). It was during this trip that I decided to act upon my desire to find a way to help support these South African women who inspired me so much. Driven by my passion to help, and encouraged by friends and family, I launched the genesis of what was to become LivAfrika, in late 2011.
As I continue to visit Africa several times a year, I am developing strong relationships with many different churches and organizations throughout the country. I fell in love with the people of South Africa – and the local women and children truly inspire me. As I learn about the struggles they endure, I am moved beyond description. Their ingenuity and perseverance amaze me.
Many of these women spend countless hours crafting, by hand, unique and exquisite jewelry and other items, which they sell to earn money to support their families and their community. Several of these gifted artisans are grandmothers (Gogo's) who are raising money to support their orphaned grandchildren. Others are mothers who want to earn money so they can afford to send their sons and daughters to school, provide medicines to their children, protect them from malaria and other deadly diseases.
None of the people I have met are looking for a “hand out.” Every one of them is proudly learning new skills and diligently working their way out of impossible life situations. I desperately wanted to help and support them and now, through the LivAfrika project, I am doing just that.
At our root LivAfrika is about empowering women to build their self-esteem and sense of self-worth. It’s the philosophy of a “Hand Up, Not a Hand Out” that we believe creates sustainable and positive change. With your purchase of our products, you are making a statement of hope and compassion – and you are directly supporting these women and positively impacting their lives for generations to come.
THANK YOU for supporting our mission and for sharing in our passion to help the women and children of South Africa.
– Sita Monti