Rwanda Graphic T-Shirt Project

Jon Theiss, Bryan Collins & Steve Green going over initial designs with Taylor Krauss
The Pangaea Project is now offering limited edition graphic tees to help sponsor Rwandan orphans and the filming testimonies of genocide survivors.  The idea of doing a charity t-shirt occurred to me when Heather Metcalfe connected me with Ildephonse, the Director of the Gisimba orphanage in Kigali. Ildephonse has made me aware of the challenges facing the orphanage and this t-shirt project is one of my ways of contributing.

Ildephonse's biggest challenges:

  • feeding the 200 children and finding sponsors for them.
  • It costs $0.75 USD per day to feed a child. 
  • There are currently 20 school-aged children that need support for their education.
  • The total cost per student per year is $660 USD which includes transportation, materials and pocket money in case of accident or sickness.
So wanting to address these concerns before my arrival, I decided to ask some graphic-ly inclined friends to see if they could donate their skills. The designs would be Rwandan-inspired to help raise funds for Gisimba as well as Voices if Rwanda (VOR). 
The Assignment: 
  • To be as creative as they want...with ideas ranging from...
  • Designing a new icon
  • Re-branding the country
  • Slogans and/or socially conscious messages that can tie back to the non-profit org. missions.

For the Gisimba orphanage tees, I am planning on having each t-shirt personalized with the name of the child on the interior neck, so whoever buys it will know who they are sponsoring. In addition, while at the orphanage, I will photograph and write a profile of the child, documenting his/her interests to post on the blog.

As for the VOR tees, the designers are to do their own artistic interpretation on what the VOR mission stands for. The money raised from these tees will go to fund genocide survivor testimonies, preserving history by building a comprehensive archive for future generations.

Bryan Collins
, Steve Green, Chris McNally, Jon Theiss and Scott Nguyen are the first crew of artists I've enlisted for this series of tees. I've had the pleasure of working each of these designers over the past few years and they all do awesome work. I'm really excited to profile them here. Each t-shirt design will be photographed on the designer along with a bio.

David Mullen, of Save Khaki, has generously donated a bulkload of his super-soft and comfy tees to print on. The remaining balance will be printed on Edun-Live Organic Cotton tees made in Uganda. Lincoln Mayne, award-winning artist and screenprinter extraordinaire, has offered to waterbase print these shirts at a fraction of his normal cost. I can't express how thankful I am that all these amazing people are contributing their time, skills, talents and goods to this project.

We will be meeting on July 3rd to go over the designs. I can't wait to see them!