Sister Artists

The Advocacy Project (AP) and Quilt for Change are pleased to announce the launch of an exciting new partnership between survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) in Mali and quilters in the United States.

Under the initiative, known as Sister Artists, survivors (pictured above) have produced embroidered block depicting their life in Mali. Quilt for Change is inviting American quilters to turn one of the blocks – pictured below – into an art quilt which will then be posted online, exhibited and auctioned. All proceeds will be sent to Mali and invested in a micro-enterprise for the artists.

Quilt for Change is a long-time partner of AP and a leader in the use of quilting as a tool for social change and we are delighted to be working with the group again. Sister Artists also represents an important step in AP’s efforts to support survivors from the conflict in northern Mali. Our engagement began in 2014, when we joined forces with Sini Sanuman (“Healthy Tomorrow’), a leading Malian advocate for women’s rights. Over the last five years, over 650 women have enrolled at a Sini Sanuman center where they were trained to make embroidery by Abi Konate and Massaran Traore, pictured below. Almost all of the artists lived in the north before fleeing the conflict and have used their blocks to remember the life they left behind. Many live on less than $2 a day in Bamako and hope to sell their embroidery.

Sini Sanuman is supporting 180 survivors this year and we will ensure that they benefit directly from the proceeds. All profits will be managed by Sini Brodage, a micro-enterprise set up by Sini Sanuman for the women.  One half of each sale will go to the survivor who made the block. The rest will cover the cost of producing more blocks and training vulnerable women to produce embroidery. Sini Brodage is managed by Ms Konate and Ms Traore under the guidance of Mariam Seck (below).

AP and Quilt for Change are confident that this exciting initiative will attract talented American quilters and we plan to follow every stage of the process on our two websites. AP will profile all quilters on this page when they begin to work on their block. Their finished quilts will then be posted online and exhibited (date and place to be decided), before being auctioned. Hollis Chatelain has agreed to select the best quilt and the winning quilter will receive a gift of fine African fabric. We will keep participants informed about Sini Brodage’s future progress through a blog.

To participate fill out this form and follow instructions. Select a block that has not been assigned. To pay the $25 entry fee please send a check to The Advocacy Project (2201 P Street, NW, Washington DC) or pay online by clicking on the donate button at the top of this page. Scroll down to the “special purpose” field and enter Sister Artists. We will mail the block of your choice to you. For further information contact us at +1 202 758 3328 or email We look forward to hearing from you!

Click here to read about the crisis of gender-based violence in Mali and Sini Sanuman’s response. Click here to learn about AP’s program of advocacy quilting.


Mariam Seck coordinates Sini Sanuman’s program in Bamako

Abi Konate trains survivors in tailoring and co-manages Sini Brodage

Massaran Traore trains survivors in embroidery and co-manages Sini Brodage

#1 Bird

#2 Home

#3 Cooking

Assigned to Hope Barton, Connecticut

Assigned to Rhonda O’Keefe, New Hampshire

#4 Animals

#5 Traditional huts

#6 Huts


#7 Huts

#8 Grinding maize

#9 In the fields

Assigned to Salama Mamas of Kenya


Assigned to Diane Clapes, Georgia

#10 Pirogue

#11 Grinding maize

#12 Preparing maize

Assigned to Karen Pulaski, Massachusetts 

Assigned to Ellena Georato, New Hampshire

#13 At the home

#14 Grinding maize

#15 Carrying maize

Assigned to Sue Bates, Rhode Island

Assigned to Judy Miller, California

#16 Preparing food

#17 Cooking food

#18 In the fields


Assigned to Sue Willows-Raznikov, California

#19 Huts

#20 Cooking

#21 Grinding maize

#22 Grinding maize at home

#23 Off to the market

#24 Village scenes

#25 Camel

#26 In the village

#27 Preparing maize

Assigned to Cathy LaBonte, Connecticut

Assigned to Nancy Hershberger, Pennsylvania

#28 Off to the market

#29 Camel

#30 Camel

Assigned to Nairn Stewart, Canada

Assigned to Deborah Elouahabi, Virginia

#31 Camel

$32 On the road

#33 Birds


Assigned to Kathleen Paduano, Colorado

#34 Hunting with husband

#35 Preparing maize

#36 Cooking

Assigned to Ellen Fisher, New Hampshire

#37 Fishing

#38 Preparing maize

#39 Preparing maize flower

Assigned to Patricia Rennau, Vermont



Assigned to Ali Lichtenstein, California