WomenCraft is an East African social enterprise that empowers female artisans by paying them fair wages to make beautiful crafts that are sold internationally. This income allows women living in the Mafiga Matatu area -- which lies between Rwanda, Tanzania and Burundi -- to support themselves and their families, send their children to school, and even help take care of other children who have been orphaned due to HIV.
"WomenCraft's members create high-quality handcrafted products that preserve local traditions and incorporate environmentally-sustainable local materials," the website explains.
"Members also build business acumen and gain practical life skills so that they can eventually take ownership of the enterprise."
The social enterprise was founded in 2007 and currently works with 380 artisans in 17 villages. Since launching, WomenCraft has enabled artisans to earn over $50,000, a hefty sum when you consider that the average person in the Ngara region lives off less than $260 USD.
Among the products created by WomenCraft are woven fruit bowls and placemats, handcrafted from organic materials like grass and banana fiber, as seen in the gallery above.
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Fair Trade Weaving
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WomenCraft Offers Ethical Employment in East Africa's Mafiga Matatu Area
Published: Feb 18, 2012 • References: womencraft.org