Last Spring, a girl I knew from high school reached out to me with a project. She was part of a class at Yale that was working with women from Hope Village in Somalia to help them build businesses to support themselves. The women made baskets, sandals, jams, and honeys that would be exported and sold so that the women could support themselves.
I was incredibly excited to help. I worked with my cousin —a professor in Chicago who specializes in the study of languages— for help with Arabic and Somali translations. I researched the country and received feedback on cultural imagery from the women that the class was working with. Their feedback was invaluable and I learned a bit about the values of women in Somalia and cultural imagery. Through their feedback I changed the illustration so that the dress covered the womens' arms, I altered the head wrap, and I changed the dress so that it was not green, since that is not a color that is often worn there.
This was an incredibly rewarding project for me to work on and a great experience learning to work remotely with clients.