Empowering communities, one stitch at a time.
As part of our female empowerment initiative, we started a social enterprise named the ‘Women’s Sewing Circle’. Our circle empowers women economically and socially, while supporting Baobuyu’s wider empowerment projects.
Several members of the ‘Vision for Women’ collective are trained in tailoring by an independent artisan. Initially, they created ‘doggie’ bandanas for our four legged friends which we debuted in 2019. After trialling our bandanas with family and friends, we sold them through various outlets in the US, UK, The Netherlands, Canada and Zambia. And, so, the ‘African Dog’ was born… More recently, our craftswomen have added beautiful tote and shoulder bags, crafted out of African chitenge fabric, to our collection. Chitenge is a bright, durable material which features a variety of African-inspired traditional and modern prints.
While the craftswomen are in training, 100% of the profits support our school and our female empowerment groups, ‘Girl Power’ and ‘Vision for Women’. Baobuyu reinvests in the Mwandi community through projects like entrepreneurship programmes, intensive first aid courses and puberty workshops. Once the craftswomen complete their training, they will receive 70% of the profits, with the remaining 30% funding resources like art materials, booklets and skills-based workshops.
It is estimated that 13% of women in rural areas have received no education at all in Zambia (World Inequality Database on Education). Each bandana and tote bag symbolises a step forward in breaking this cycle of poverty. Our hope is that this training will pave the path to independence through the establishment of their own micro-enterprises in the future.
The ‘Sewing Circle’ is in its early stages but we are excited to see it thrive and expand. In time, we hope to welcome more women from low socio-economic backgrounds into the group. By sharing their passion and skills across generations, we also hope that the women will spark a ripple effect within their communities, with every women determining the course of her own future.
We asked Memory, one of the first members of our ‘Sewing Circle’, to share what the initiative means to her:
“Being an independent woman was my biggest dream. I don’t rely on anyone but myself and my abilities. I am proud of myself because my job has allowed me to support my daughter who is in second grade. I am a strong woman, an unshakeable woman and a good role model to other single mothers in the community. Thank you to Tammy and everyone at Baobuyu.”
If you are interested in purchasing or selling our products in your country, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We may even be able to arrange a special delivery via DHL, visitors or friends returning home from Zambia!