Flavours is a friendly little internet cafe in Jinja, Uganda that is located right in the middle of Main Street. It is the perfect place to relax before or after work, check emails, or enjoy a nice cup of yummy Ugandan coffee. On both of my visits to Uganda, I frequented Flavours at least 3 times a day. One of the things that first drew me to this cafe instead of some of the others were the beautiful paintings hanging on the walls. It made it unique, set it apart from the rest of Uganda and made me feel like I was sitting in the middle of a little art gallery or something. One day, I was standing in front of a painting of two woman with babies tied to their backs when I heard a man's voice behind me,
"Do you like this paining?" he asked me in his lovely Ugandan accent.
"Very much." I said.
"Who is the artist?"
He didn't answer. He just smiled. Shy and proud all at the same time. And then he said,
"I am Angelo."
And he walked away.
I looked at the painting more closely and there I saw the artist's name, Angelo. I began walking all around Flavours, checking out the paintings I had been admiring for weeks. They all had his name on them.
I began to ask around and found out that Angelo has his own shop on Main Street, called Jinja Art Studio. A year later, on my second trip to Uganda, an idea came to us to do a fundraiser for Fount of Mercy inspired by Angelo's beautiful art. I bumped into him on the street one day and asked him if he and his cousin Jaffer would be interested in a large commission of charcoal sketches on canvas. I spent several days looking at sample sketches that they came up with, telling them what I liked and what I didn't. And then, when we were finally on the same page, I spent an afternoon in the studio with them, watching them sketch, interviewing them about their lives as young Ugandan men, and even got a very rough video on my iPhone of the process!
I am so happy with the way the sketches turned out. Each one captures the beauty and simplicity of Africa. And it was so amazing to sit there and watch Angelo and Jaffer at work.
They are both self taught artists. They are both funny and intelligent. I can't wait to share their interviews with you soon.
The work that Fount of Mercy is doing in Uganda is important. I have seen it with my own eyes. Lives are being changed for the better.
It is about job creation. It's about preserving dignity. It's all about sustainability.
Your donation of $30 (one sketch) $50 (two sketches) $75 (all three sketches) will go a long way!
It will change lives. It will give hope.
The holidays are just around the corner. These make great gifts for your loved ones here at home, and your donation will give the gift of hope to some beautiful people just a little bit further away in Uganda.
Click HERE to donate to Fount of Mercy and receive your charcoal sketch! Don't wait, we have limited numbers of each!
I can't wait to send one out to you or someone you think may enjoy a little glimpse of Africa.
We can make a difference.
We can create change.
We can help if we all work together.
Thank you for working with me.