Never underestimate the power of a woman who can earn her own money and provide for her family.
This statement is true everywhere in Africa and other parts of the developing world. One trait that is perpetually apparent when you travel abroad and visit areas in need is people want to work; they want to be able to buy food and pay for their children’s education and health needs. They want to take care of their home and put money away to save like everyone else. Sometimes this is difficult to achieve in developing nations because of rife poverty, war, and lack of economic opportunities. But there are social enterprise models that tap into the creativity, ingenuity, and work ethic of women who craft beautiful clothes, bags, and wares for purchase.
Mend, a program of the Invisible Children, is one of those social enterprise companies that is giving women a chance to earn money and pull themselves out of the cycle of poverty. Based in Gulu, Uganda most of the seamstresses are former child soldiers or wives of LRA rebel commanders in Uganda who were in power during the civil war.
“We believe our program is unique in its holistic approach to recovery and commitment to sustainable financial independence for our seamstresses, while creating quality, value-added products that people want to own.”
The seamstresses at Mend make beautiful totes made of printed canvas that are meticulously trimmed with leather. Each canvas bag retails for $75 and the blank canvas bag retails for $65. All proceeds from the sale of the basg goes back into the Mend program where women can work and expand their financial earnings and better earn a living for their families.
What is particularly fascinating about Mend is the women are able to earn money from their work and are benefited from the collective work of them all. Be sure to visit the Mend blog to read more about Mend’s work.