As a person with roots in Ethiopia and Eritrea, I admittedly have way too many scarves from my homeland. Scarves are an essential accessory in our culture and more than that, it’s hard to resist purchasing them since they’re all so unique. Whether you are living in Ethiopia or a member of the diaspora as I am, getting your first scarf, or sharba, as we say in the Tigrinya language, is almost like a rite of passage. In Ethiopian fashion, women can be seen wearing scarves as a part of their daily outfits, which makes me feel a bit better that every other women’s collection is as large as mine.
What I love in addition to the delicately made, colorful scarves at Shoo for Good, and not to mention their insect repellant quality, is the ability to support products made in Ethiopia. Traditional weaving in the country is an industry that employs many local women and being able to wear their art around my neck every day makes me beam with pride.
I am currently the Development Intern with Nothing But Nets, the largest grassroots campaign fighting malaria, an entirely preventable disease. I was drawn to this amazing organization because I have firsthand experience with malaria. When I heard about the partnership between Shoo for Good and Nothing But Nets, I was excited to learn that not only are the scarves made by Ethiopian artisans, but that proceeds from every purchase go towards preventative bed nets and treatments for mothers, fathers and children at risk of malaria. Having contracted malaria on two occasions as a child, I still remember the fear I had as a child when I was told I had it, despite not clearly understanding the situation.
Luckily for me, I was able to quickly get the treatment I needed, but this is a privilege that millions of other children around the world do not have. My experience inspired me to do my part to raise awareness and ensure children receive access to the preventative tools and treatment that I was able to have at my disposal. As a result, I was heartened to hear that we partnered with Shoo for Good, an initiative that combines two things I’m passionate about – lovely Ethiopian scarves that honor my heritage as well as bringing attention to the threat of malaria, a disease I hope to see end in my lifetime.