A philanthropic French artist, Don Mateo draws inspiration from the lyricism of everyday life. Initially a painter, he made a name for himself on the streets through his stencils of women. He then reworked the existing urban codes of aesthetic by developing a unique technique of papercut.
While Don Mateo draws lines to create emotion, light and movement, he does so in favour of charitable causes that benefit from his creations. The artistic emblems thus allow such causes to be seen, and in turn spread. In 2017, he joined forces with the Lyon collective Pas d'Enfant Sans Toit for an awareness campaign. The parent-led initiative mobilised for the urgent need to relocate homeless families in the city. In December 2019, it is with Entrepreneurs du Monde that he begins his work in creating a piece that will benefit their Fansoto program.
Shown pixelated on The Hope Gallery, each euro given online will reveal a fragment of the mysterious piece of art. The goal of this art and charity fundraising? Collect almost 12,000 euros, necessary to finance a year of training of 400 women micro-entrepreneurs in Senegal in the development of their business.
The recently launched FANSOTO program brings forward the organisation's core values and dedication. Created in 1998 and recognised as being of general interest, Entrepreneurs du Monde allows families in severe hardship access vital goods and services; all whilst leading them towards autonomy, in a "teach someone to fish" mindset. Entrepreneurs du Monde promotes the emergence of sustainable local organisations by recruiting local coordinators in France and abroad to develop, manage, and implement, their three-part intervention. First, by supporting the creation of "Very Small Enterprises" (through, amongst other methods, guidance and literacy education). Secondly, implementing social microfinance solutions (lending money to people in poverty who are not assisted by banks), and thirdly, by furthering access to energy. The families encouraged in their ventures thus gain autonomy, independence and improve their living conditions with long-term solutions.
Being particularly sensitive to education and to the autonomy of the women whose portraits he carries out regularly, Don Mateo voluntarily chose to support this cause in Casamance. This region has been ravaged by conflict for more than 30 years, and insecurity in the villages has caused the flow of large populations towards the cities, settling down in poor, semi-rural peripheral neighborhoods lacking basic infrastructure.
Tutoring and providing access to loans will create a real and tangible impact for these Senegalese women who are the pillars of family in the country.
Alongside their good action, the donators involved in this operation can also become art collectors. Indeed, each amount of donation will unlock the chance to be drawn from the raffle.
The prizes: screen prints enhanced by hand (numbered and signed, worth 250€) or the original painting (81x65 cm) estimated at 2000€.