Christmas is a busy time of year for many businesses. It was no different for Kaz'O'zah Art this year and it was an exciting prospect to have so many orders come in from both Burundi and overseas. The question to be asked was; could we get them all done in time?
It was late on Wednesday, December 23, that an order came in from UNFPA (the United Nations Population Fund), a valued client of Kaz'O'zah Art. UNFPA needed 200 tote bags to be made to hold sexual health education materials and condoms. The bags would be used by UNFPA trainers working across Burundi. And they needed them by Monday, December 28.
The black canvas tote bags were to be printed with the words "Je me protege contre le vih et toi?" (I am protected against HIV, are you?), highlighting the important work UNFPA does promoting universal access to HIV prevention, care and treatment. With millions of people vulnerable to HIV infection around the world, and AIDS remaining the leading cause of death in women of reproductive age worldwide, the work of UNFPA is incredibly important. The tote bags would be a useful and simple way to promote the message and Kaz'O'zah Art felt honoured to be able to assist.
As soon as the order came in, the Kaz'O'zah Art production team got to work sourcing materials and planning the production process. With many of Kaz’O’zah Art’s artisans busy with other Christmas orders, only four artisans could be spared for the job - previous Artisans of the Month Gloria and Victor, together with Renilde and Roger.
This job was yet another at Kaz’O’zah Art where artisans from different artisanal departments had to work closely together to produce a product (or in this case, 200 products!) Gloria and Renilde, from the tailoring department, and Roger and Victor, from the leather work department, worked in teams to create the bags.
By Friday, December 24 all the materials were sourced and producton could start. It was clear by this stage that some serious work would be needed to get the order done in time. Amazingly, Victor and Roger offered to work on Christmas Day in order to complete the task. Even more inspirational was the fact that Victor decided to stay overnight at the Kaz’O’zah Art premises, to avoid losing precious time travelling back and forth to work. All artisans changed plans to be able to work late. Meals were ordered in and the sound of sewing machines rang out late in to the night.
Saturday and Sunday flew by as more and more of the bags were finished. 50, 100, 150.
Monday morning dawned and the deadline drew near. All eyes were on the fantastic four – would they get the order done? By midday the answer was clear. Yes! The 200 tote bags were finished, not a seam out of place, not a loose thread to be seen.
At Kaz’O’zah Art, we are often inspired by the hard work and dedication of our artisans – coming to work despite huge difficulties, going that extra step to complete an order so as not to disappoint a client, or simply working with a smile and a friendly word. This Christmas order simply increased our respect and admiration for our artisans.
Thank you, Merci, Murakoze to our star artisans (L-R) Victor, Gloria, Renilde and Roger.