This project has mobilized over 200 Barabaig men and women in central Tanzania to design and craft jewelry and handbags inspired by traditional fashions. The project aims to uplift and empower traditional culture. It also helps generate significant income and educational opportunities for disadvantaged communities.
Amias and its fair trade mission have allowed families to find stability in a region wracked by hardship and frequent drought. More parents now send their children to school, and they have enough food in times of need. They are increasing their livestock and making plans for the future.
The women (and some men) of Coppercraft are located in the Mpumalanga area of South Africa. They produce beautiful jewelry in copper and brass and also silver (necklaces, bangles, earrings, brooches, pendants and headpieces), tableware (spoon and carving sets, knives, salad servers, candlestick holders. and other handcrafted from copper and brass items such as wide range of copper and brass handcrafted corporate gift items to put your corporate branding (customized logos, etc.).
The artisans of Coppercraft are local rural persons ( a significant number of disabled persons) and also refugees from surrounding countries who have been displaced due economic hardships.
Gauteng women are a collective of women who have now been accommodated in a Johannesburg flea market in South Africa. These women were street hawkers who peddled their products to make a living. Through this project, these women have now turned into successful formal traders. By exporting this jewelry into the United States, these women are now able to help themselves uplift their lives and those of their children.
The jewelry is imported straight from the women to promote fair-trade and to make sure that they attain full cost of their product with no-middlemen involved.
These ladies are located just outside of Kampala, the capital city of Uganda in a slum called Namuwongo.
Life is not always easy in a place where there is no constant running water or electricity. These women work so hard to make a living for their children.
Currently, they are working with A Gift To Africa to make jewelry out of recycled newspapers. The money they get goes a long way to help the women with school fees, clothing and food for their children.
Namuwongo Production Site
This is where the women are currently working out of. The women are busy with cut-out paper to make jewelry.
A Gift To Africa, with the assistance of many wonderful women, are planning for a fund raiser to assist the women in getting a better work space.
A Namuwongo Woman's Story
My name is Immaculate Alaso.
I come from Soroti District. Due to insurgency since 1990 I am staying in the slums of Namuwongo. I am a widow with 4 children, 3 dependents (a brother's children), 1 grandchild, and 1 helpless girl staying with me. That's nine in all.
My standard of education is s4 and I couldn't continue due to no school fees. I came from a polygamous family of 5 women! Due to confusions in such families, my father didn't pay my school fees, but I had to struggle by brewing local brew that paid my school fees from p1-s4. Then I decided to get any job to support my mum, who was chased away due to rivals in the family. I struggled when she was away for 2 years, but I used my brain to bring her back to our home although my father had refused. I used all my tricks and convinced him to allow her to stay to bring us up.
My first job was security, where I served for 17 years to support my mum and brother, who had already got a woman! The woman came from one of the elder woman's houses, so my mum had no right over that wife.
I came to Lugazi in 1983 and transferred in 1988 to Kampala, where I joined a security organization for construction. I worked with them for 13 years, then I was laid off.
I raised all my children in this organization, but it was through a struggle for life. The man I got was terrible with women, so I decided to get stuck in my job and get my salary to depend on, and not to ask for the man's money. There was the beginning of problems. I joined the man with 1 child, then we got 3 children with him. Life become hard. I started brewing, since it has been our culture to brew. When I delivered my second boy, time came when I went without food. My husband was working with Barclay's Bank in Uganda, but he could always tell me no money and I couldn't force him. I didn't know of any way of accusing him with any authorities. I was so foolish!
There came a time I was burnt with hot porridge by my mother in law. I couldn't work for a month. My husband could go drinking and come home being escorted by friends, but certain times we ended up fighting, so things worsened until marriage became bitter for me. Through all that struggle, I planned to get my own house and I organized to leave the man.
When his brother learnt of my plan, he told his brother and war broke out in the house. I got advantage to flee away for my own house - where, I refused to show him.
I love to share my experience with women all over the world because there is something they will get and I will also need advice from them, as we share their experience also.