I recently had the pleasure of catching up with the creative soul Bianca Cash, a gorgeous woman who is running her own business with passion and joy. She has created this beautiful print (below) which encapsulates so much of what we value as an organisation. Each print helps to fund a Cents for Seeds loan for a rural woman in Uganda. I wanted to find out what makes this chick tick!
1. Can you tell us a little about who you are and what you do?
I’m a full-time freelancer graphic designer and photographer, but a lot of my work is typography based.
2. Can you share with us about your experiences in Africa?
I’ve been really lucky to travel to East Africa three times. The first time was with my family. We visited our sponsored children in Uganda and Tanzania. It was my first time overseas and it changed everything. It sounds really dramatic but I never had the desire to travel anywhere, especially not a developing country.
In 2007 I started sponsoring two girls in Tanzania. I choose Tanzania. I don’t know why. About three years later I had the opportunity to visit two of my sponsored children and these moments of meeting these beautiful young girls and their families and communities really moved me. Seeing where they lived and how they lived was eye opening. I was so touched by Tanzania, I went back on my own ten months later and did some voluntary work in Arusha. This voluntary experience wasn’t easy. I was really out of my comfort zone. I told myself I would never go back but during my last couple of days I visited two of my sponsored children again and suddenly my heart was changed. I knew I would be back. About two years later I applied for a voluntary photography position at a school in Arusha called the School of St Jude. I was in my last year of my studies, I barely had any money, but I applied anyway. I went through the interview process and was offered the job. I freelanced for three months over the Summer to save for my airfare and other expenses and then traveled for over 36 hours to get back to Arusha. I worked for five and half days a week over January – March in 2014, photographing children from four years to 21. St Jude provide high quality education to children from very poor backgrounds, with their aim to fight poverty through education. I also got to visit two of my kids again – visiting one of them for the third time.. I can’t begin to explain how beautiful it was to see him again and his family and teachers. Iddi’s mother dressed me in a khanga. This visit was really special to me and one I will never forget. I’ll be back there sometime. I’m unsure when but I know East Africa has stolen my heart and will always be part of me.
3. Why did you decide to create a print for the Cents for Seeds project?
I really love supporting people – especially women and children.
When Love Mercy contacted me, I had had it on my heart to support an organisation that empowers people in a developing country. I had been to Uganda so it all just seemed right. I can’t always get over to East Africa to volunteer but I can help raise funds from here and knowing an organisation you can trust to get funds to the project is really important.
4. As a young woman in business, what does women’s empowerment mean to you?
Women’s empowerment isn’t about giving hand outs. It’s about providing opportunities and resources so that women can provide for themselves, their family and community. It’s about developing a healthy confidence and progressing as a person.
5. What can we learn from one other another as influential women?
I think we can learn so much from one another. How to be bold but kind. How to keep moving forward and continue to achieve our goals. I love seeing women do well and stepping out of their comfort zone. I love seeing women encourage each other.