Every time you wear SmileGiver Batik t-shirts and accessories, you’re giving a parentless child a meal, a bed, and the chance to learn.
SmileGiver Batik came to life in 2008, when Sylvie Gbeteh was visiting her mother in Lomé, the capital of Togo, West Africa. Every morning, coming from next door, she could hear simple, charming and compelling songs of children at an orphanage called, Marie Reine de la Paix. Upon visiting Marie Reine de la Paix, she witnessed something that would forever change her life. Those little voices, so sweet and magical, were all in a desperate need of help. Sylvie wanted to do something for these children who had not enough food, inadequate bedding, and very few other necessities. She was determined to help the children acquire the simplest of necessities that most of us take for granted every day.
“Seeing how they lived broke my heart,” remembers Sylvie. “I wanted to do something for them. I wanted to make them smile.” And so, Sylvie’s brainchild was born: handmade batik clothing and accessories under the apt name SmileGiver Batik.
The simple but colorful, all-cotton t-shirts for men, women and children, each unique and one-of-a-kind, feature animals of Africa. Bags and other accessories are decorated with beautiful abstract batik designs. Many have intriguing quotes accompanying the animal images that are bound to inspire conversation.
Best of all, 10 percent of the proceeds from the sales of these beautiful batik products goes to Orphelinat la Solution in Lomé (Togo), to help them obtain clothes, food, bedding, and schooling.
“One orphanage at a time, one country at a time,” is Sylvie’s ambitious and optimistic goal. “My mission is to develop this business for other orphanages, one at a time in some part of the world. I want to make life better for these motherless and fatherless children, even just in small ways.”