Joining in women’s personal efforts to improve the quality of their lives and the lives of their children
The first product introduction idea of SSEGO has lovingly become known as the "Doll Project". The Doll Project is the first of many product introduction ideas. SoulSong's "Special Companion Guardian Angel" doll idea was introduced to various communities of women in need of opportunity.
The "Doll Project" came out of Sharon Sofia's desire to create multicultural Special Companion Guardian Angel dolls that complemented her multilingual, children's book, My Guardian Angel, Guardian Angel dolls are a physical reminder of that special companion in spirit.
SSEGO is currently implementing the "Doll Project" in communities in Costa Rica, Panama and Zimbabwe. SSEGO has been invited to assist in other communities as well. These communities include Appalachia, Brazil, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Thailand.
All of the communities that SoulSong has the privilege to work with are excited to be creating "Special Companion" dolls. The communities of women work collectively in their community center. Each doll is handcrafted with love and care; no two are exactly alike. The doll faces are intentionally simple or bare to allow the child's own imagination to complete the face with the many moods of the child. The color of the doll faces vary with the communities. Each completed doll is ready to be loved.
It is the hope and affirmation of SoulSong that people from every corner of the world will discover the beautiful dolls being made by these remarkable communities of women and be inspired to purchase them as gifts and special companions for themselves and others. Collect one from every community to bring that gentle reminder of Spirit, while also helping women endeavoring to gracefully improve their living conditions and ability to care for their families.
Ngobe Indigenous / Isla Bastimentos
The Ngobe community of Bahia Honda is rapidly being 'left behind' as foreign developers prompt a steep rise in the cost of living. Ngobe communities across the archipelago off the mainland of Panama are struggling to maintain their rich culture and heritage. The older women in Bahia Honda are accomplished seamstresses and are known for their striking dresses called Naguas. The Nobe women expressed how they loved the idea of making Special Companion Guardian Angel dolls that watch over all children and were immediately inspired with unique ideas of their own. On our first visit to Bastimentos, they shared a Guardian Angel verse with us in Spanish that is taught to the children of Bastimentos and other areas in Central America.
The skillfully handcrafted Special Companion dolls made by this talented community of women reflects the design of their traditional nagua dresses. The traditional design work is hand stitched in complementary colors. The Nobe women embellish each of their Special Companion dolls with crocheted bags called “Chakaras”. Chakaras are traditional bags made from a plant that they collect and rendered into fiber. These unique bags vary in design and size. The Ngobe women work on their dolls together in their open air thatched roof community center. The more experienced seamstresses are now teaching the younger women who are inspired to be a part of the “Doll Project” to stitch the dolls with their cultural handwork.
** Each doll is about 12 inches tall, but may vary slightly.
La Carpio / Costa Rica
The name La Carpio stands for “The Village of Hope”. It is a community of Nicaraguan immigrants who migrated to Costa Rica nearly twenty years ago. They migrated to Costa Rica for a variety of reasons including the devastation of a civil war, destruction from natural disasters and the desperation of poverty that led to hunger. Since Costa Rica is the signatory to national treaties guaranteeing the right to education, healthcare and livable housing to all those who live in the country, these immigrants were able to receive free public education for their children, a chance for adequate health care, infrastructure improvements in their communities and opportunities to search for work. The people who came to La Carpio are resilient and imaginative.
La Carpio Dolls
The Special Companion dolls made by the resourceful women of La Carpio are embellished with multicolored appliquéd butterflies. The wings of the appliquéd butterfly remain free (not stitched down to the bodice fabric) giving the butterfly a three dimensional quality. To the women of La Carpio the butterfly signifies transformation and freedom. The cotton fabric used to make these enchanting dolls is hand selected by the women reflecting the fabric of their country. SoulSong works in cooperation with the Humanitarian Foundation of Costa Rica in the training and development of La Carpio’s cottage industry business.
** Each doll is about 12 inches tall, but may vary slightly.
La Carpio Cloth Fête Bag
An Exquisite Gift Combo Idea For The Beloved Child In Your Life!
These charming cotton cloth bags with matching “Special Companion Dolls” are inspirationally hand made by the women of La Carpio (the village of hope). Each fully lined bag holds a set of children’s playing cards, one multicultural 12” La Carpio doll embellished with appliqué butterfly and the multilingual book My Guardian Angel. The book includes an audio CD of the rhythmical story being recited in each featured language. Hand embroidered detailing on both cloth bag and doll. Rich, vibrant colors.
NOTE ABOUT COLOR PREFERENCE OF DOLL:
The color shade and solid or patterned fabric selection is determined by each women handcrafting their cloth bag and matching doll for you. Color preference is available but please allow the women’s creative expression to unfold as they delight so very much in selecting and brilliantly combining their color and pattern scheme.
SoulSong does not request any specific color combinations- only color preferences in order to offer you a select choice. Please select your preferred 1st and 2nd color choice. We sincerely appreciate your willingness to foster the women’s creative license by leaving your doll and bag selection with noted color preference up to us. We believe that you will be pleasantly delighted. We appreciate your trust so much that we will gladly replace your Fête Bag if you are dissatisfied with our selection at our shipping expense.
Cabecar Indigenous / Costa Rica
The Cabecar indigenous peoples of Costa Rica live in a remote, mountainous region one half hour from the Atlantic Coast of Costa Rica. Nine years ago a young Cabecar Indian man arrived at the FUNDACIÕN HUMANITARIAN (Humanitarian Foundation of Costa Rica) headquarters. He had been told by his Spirit Guides to seek this foundation’s help to bring his group of Cabecar Indians into the modern world while helping them to preserve their traditional customs and language. SSEGO is working cooperatively with The Humanitarian Foundation of Costa Rica to develop marketing strategies and introduce product ideas using the Cabecar’s traditional bark cloth skills.
Once used for clothing, hammocks, rope and other functional community items, the Cabecar are now applying their traditional bark cloth skills to make unique and whimsical bark cloth creations to help sustain a community once completely supported by its interaction, ingenuity, and innate connection with nature.
Cabecar Bark Cloth Angel
Each bark cloth angel is hand crafted, beginning with peeling the bark from a local tree to the finished product. The rendering process involves pounding the wet bark with a large corrugated stick, drying the bark and repeating the process several times. The Cabecar artisan designs and sews their bark cloth item using string made from vines. String used for sewing is made locally by peeling vines into string and rubbing the fiber between the thigh and the palm of the hand to make a braid.
Preservation of the Cabecar skills assures the continuation of an important aspect and knowledge of this culture. SoulSong is delighted to make available whimsical bark cloth angels that reflect the sculptural artistry of the Cabecar’s ancestral bark cloth skill.
** Each doll is about 4 to 5 inches tall, but may vary slightly.
Batsiranai / Zimbabwe
The members of Batsiranai (Helping Each Other) are mothers of extremely disabled children. They are a group of very special women from different backgrounds and tribes. In Zimbabwe, children with disabilities and their families are often shunned not only by society but by their extended families as well. This isolation and the lack of community programs for the children often cause the families to spiral into extreme poverty.
The Special Companion dolls made by the Mothers of Batsiranai are endearing 9 inch dolls with hand embroidered aprons depicting images of Africa. These dolls are made with cotton fabric reflecting their African culture. Other fabric choices include less cultural fabric that is also irresistible. The Batsiranai dolls have traditional cloth head wraps.
** Each doll is about 8 to 9 inches tall, but may vary slightly.
La Promesa / Costa Rica
The typical woman of La Promesa (Promise of a Brighter Future) is a survivor of extreme physical, mental or sexual abuse. They have all been declared cases of extreme poverty by the Costa Rican social service agency. SoulSong is working with the Humanitarian Foundation of Costa Rica to help this community develop a sustainable cottage industry business. The community of La Promesa Will have dolls available in the near future.
Other Special Companion Doll Initiatives
SoulSong’s “Children Reaching out to Children” program was established in 2008. This program provides a wonderful opportunity to “SHARE YOUR LOVE” by purchasing a Special Companion doll on behalf of an orphaned child. The dolls purchased on behalf of an orphaned child are either hand delivered by a SoulSong volunteer or arrangements are made with a staff member of the orphanage to place the doll in the arms of deserving child on your behalf. Proceeds from these dolls help support SoulSong’s Children Reaching out to Children program. This program offers a wonderful opportunity to allow SoulSong to assist others in touching the hearts of children globally.
In 2008, children from Douglass Elementary School in Boulder, Colorado, created special designs on fabric to be made into Special Companion dolls for children living in the Lily of the Valley orphanage in Mexico. These children, separated by borders and circumstance, became united through their consideration and awareness of one another. This is a large part of what SoulSong’s Children Reaching out to Children program is all about.
Through the generous purchase of My Guardian Angel books and Special Companion dolls on behalf of a child, many children cared for in the Lily of the Valley orphanage in Mexico were presented with their personal Guardian Angel doll and book during a special ceremony. We look forward to annually expanding this project.
From www.soulsong.org, you can purchase one of these lovingly handcrafted dolls on behalf of an orphaned child or children from the La Carpio, Ngobe or Batsirsanai communities.
*SoulSong annually hosts special benefits where dolls made with fabric designs created by school children can be purchased. We hope in the near future to make this opportunity available online.
Testimonials from parents that have purchased dolls for their children and relatives include how Special Companion dolls have helped to stave off nightmares, relieve fears, encourage faith and provide unconditional support.
"I found my 2 1/2 year old son walking down our hallway in the middle of the night carrying his Guardian Angel doll
under his arm. He said, “Momma, I had a scary dream, but I'm O.K. now, I've got my
Guardian Angel with me.” I love that Rowan's Angel doll helps him feel the protection of his Guardian Angel in Spirit."
"A friend of mine purchased a Special Companion doll for the children of a friend diagnosed with a terminal illness. This doll becamepart of their special
moments together. After the mother's passing, the childrenhad a soft, huggable, physical reminder of their mother's continued guardianship."
“The Guardian Angel doll I ordered touched my heart. I hugged her and mailed her off to my daughter Amy. She received it today and just called...in tears. Your Angel now has a home with my Angel. Thank you so much for bringing this joy.”
~ Judy, East Coast
“I got a beautiful Guardian Angel doll and book for my granddaughter’s Christening. I showed it to a friend and she just started to cry, she loved it so much! Now she would like to have one as a high school graduation gift for her granddaughter.”
~ Priscilla, Calif.