Promoting Economic Independence For African Women
Women’s Economic Empowerment
Ida Horner and Ethnic Supplies Ltd.
When you come from a third world country usually you do not realize just how high the levels of poverty are in your own country. It is only after you have travelled and seen the first world and then go back to visit your country of origin that you are shocked by the relative poverty there. This happened to a friend of mine, Ida Horner, when after living in London, she returned to her native Uganda in 2006. She then decided to quit her managerial job in London to start Ethnic Supplies Ltd, a social enterprise specialising in handicrafts and textiles from East Africa.
Ida believed in the idea that business fights poverty best and created Ethnic Supplies Ltd to support women in the East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Madagascar. She believes in empowering women as an ethical means to redistribute wealth in her beloved country. She tries to help women while still maintaining their dignity. Investing in women means that a large portion of their income will be re-invested in their families and communities creating stable societies.
How Different Are African Women To You And Me?
There is no difference, we are all human beings.
The only differences come from the environment in which they have to survive. In many African countries women are still marginalized, some do not have the right to mainstream education or employment. Their roles have been clearly subordinate to those of men, despite their substantial economic and social responsibilities.
How does Ethnic Supplies help women?
Ethnic Supplies promotes economic and social development of East African women by enabling them to sell their products in a competitive market.
Who Can Take Part In The Project to Help Women in Africa?
The producers are chosen by a referral system. Most of them do not have any other source of income but the one provided by their work doing handcrafts.
All producers are women either individuals or part of local women's groups. Most women are illiterate or semiliterate. There is a group in the slums of Kampala Uganda who support women affected by HIV and AIDS, a group that otherwise would find no support.
Some of the producers are:
Lillian Cydia Kyabagi
Lillian, a 70 years old widow, is one of Ethnic Supplies weavers in Southwest Uganda. She uses the payrus on the shores of the lake to weave baskets. Before, she had no market access for her baskets. She is pleased that her baskets have found a new audience and that she is able to have an income from her weaving skills.
Jacqueline is 28 years old, married and has one child. She supplements the family income by weaving baskets and sewing children's clothes that are sold through her local co-operative in Southwest Uganda.
Margeret Wabire describes how conditions can be for some poor single women in Uganda. The World Bank is working to create more opportunities for Women
The Shop To Promote Economical Independance of African Women
The Online Shop TO Promote Economic Independance Of African Women
The products: The raw materials for the products made are often hand harvested and cut, sewn, knit and beaded by the female producers. Colouring is also done naturally with plants and roots.
Remenber that all articles are handmade by resourceful women who are proudly trying to work their way out of poverty and provide an education for their children.
Some of the products are:
* Baskets- Typically produced from Water Hyacinth, Banana trees, Palm leaves, Raffia, Papyrus, hide and Sisal
* Handbags- Produced from similar materials to those used in basket production as well as Raw Silk and cotton
* Scarves - made from fine cotton from Tanzania and Raw and fine silk from Madagascar
* Place Mats- Made from Raffia, Cotton and Palm leaves
* Beads- Made by Uganda women using colour magazine paper.
Costume Jewellery- is produced from cow horns, semi precious stones of Madagascar, Wood, Coconut shells and seeds from plants
As well as the online shop the other way of distributing products is through home parties. If you would like to find out more about being a party host please contact Ethnic Supplies.
17 October 2008 / 17 October 2008
Hilton Hotel Cobham Gala dinner and Auction brought to you by Ethnic Supplies Ltd in association Uganda Lodge An enlightening evening dedicated to issues faced by the women of Ruhanga village a remote rural village in South West Uganda
Further details http://www.lethemhelpthemselves.com
contact: Ann McCarthy t: 01932562757 e: firstname.lastname@example.org
Buutiti Beaders: Making beads out of paper
- The Campaign for Female Education (Camfed)
Camfed is dedicated to fighting poverty and HIV/AIDS in rural Africa by educating girls and investing in their economic independence and leadership once they complete school.
Where is Uganda?
Some facts about Uganda
Getting There By plane: Entebbe International Airport, is 40km from the capital Kampala. By Road: Uganda can be reached overland from Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania.
Language:Educated Ugandans are generally fluent in English, which is the official language. There are also more than 30 dialects spoken.
Health: A certificate of yellow fever vaccination is required. All visitors should take malaria prophylactic drugs.
What to do in Uganda: Uganda's star attraction is the endangered mountain gorilla. There are fewer than 700 gorillas surviving between Bwindi National Park and the Virunga Mountains.