Crafting change

In the beautiful and lush region around Fort Portal in Uganda over a 1000 women craft change by producing handmade high-quality baskets that are exported to England every three months.

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The greater area of the Rwenzori Mountains in Uganda

Initiated and developed by Anne, the ladies develop their own natural colours, dye the raw material made of raffia, banana fiber and papyrus into a rainbow of colours, and handcraft the baskets. The products therefore come in stunning combinations and patterns.

Talking to these wonderful souls is very inspirational. They kindly open a window into their lives when we visit for my husband‘s amazing social enterprise Communauts.

Creating change-9
Meeting some of the women of the Rwenzori Sustainable Trade Center

They are all mothers, farmers, wives, and change crafting women. So they not only raise a family but also cultivate a plot of land, are responsible for the household, and pretty much the sustenance of the whole family.

Producing baskets in addition to all these responsibilities needs organisation. We were told that each of them dedicates two hours in the afternoon of every working day to crafting baskets.

Creating change-11
Just finished a several days work

The money they earn with their craft changes a lot, because these mothers spend it on their children. They send them to school as they now are able to pay for school fees. What’s more, the women now also have a say in the family and sit down with their husbands to discuss family issues and how the excess money the family may have is being spent.

We are joyous to learn that their husbands are in favour of their wives earning money. Not a problem at all. Quite the opposite actually, as the women are now taken more seriously and some men even jumped on the baskets crafting bandwagon.

Creating change-7

But this is not all. When asked how many children they look after, some give us double-digit numbers like 10. That is a lot, so Celestine wonders and asks more precisely.

The answer leaves us speechless, awestruck and lets our heart melt.
They tell us that they also care for several orphans as a matter of course.

You must understand that these women don’t have a lot and don’t earn a fortune compared to western standards, but what they have, they naturally share with others, especially children.

And we in the rich countries battle the arrival of refugees. What a shame. Because not only do we have the money to care for them but also more than enough to share with them.

There is so very much we can and should learn from humans and women like these.

Creating change-8

Webale muno from the bottom of my heart dearest ladies.

Thank you for having us and teaching us some lessons!


8 Comments Add yours

  1. Anne Kalinzi says:

    Absolutely amazing.

    We continue to change lives through handcrafts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Anne.
      I know, I can‘t wait to check out Toroo Gallery 🤩.
      Have a lovely Sunday evening!
      Big hug, Daniela 💖


  2. Brigitte Buchmann says:

    Sehr berührend all die strahlenden Gesichter :-)!
    Herzlichst Brigitte 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ja, finde ich auch ✨. Merci Brigitte und eine prima Woche, Daniela 😘


  3. Wonderful story and photos, Daniela. We have lived in Southern Africa ourselves and have returnedmany times. Visiting those kind of projects always made us smile as well. Thanks for sharing! Marcus

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Marcus, and you are very welcome. There is so much we can take home every time we visit: Warmth, kindness, laughter, connection, lessons learnt, unique handmade crafts.
      Do you have any plans to return this year?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not this year, but hopefully next year again 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Good on you! It will be Uganda for us this year 🤩.
        Have a happy and relaxed weekend.

        Liked by 1 person

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