Updated: Sep 27
At the end of an alleyway in Mulago slum, you’ll find a group of women. Sonya*, her daughter Amber* and her daughter, Rebecca*. You’ll usually find them busy at work, sewing clothes and making crafts.
Sonya, Amber and Rebecca are all a part of the Afaayo Women’s Group. This group started over 10 years ago. In fact, Amber and her mother Sonya were both a part of the original group. The group has provided the women in Mulago slum an opportunity to earn their own income and support their families.
"Before this group, we just used to sit around, chat with our neighbours, that's how we'd spend the whole day. If we needed money, no one would lend to us because they knew we would not be able to pay them back. Now, we are well respected in the area because we are occupied and busy. We are able to pay the school fees for our children and if we need a loan, we can get it because people know we will be able to pay. In fact some women who started with us but dropped out look at us now and are amazed at what we have done”. - Amber*
The group started from humble beginnings, with the women making a few craft items to sell in their community. Now, the 13 strong women’s group makes a range of beautiful items, from laptop bags to aprons, bracelets, earrings and purses, all of great quality and using vibrant traditional Ugandan prints. They’ve even gone international with their items being sold and bought as gifts and special treats on our Etsy shop and at our craft sales.
The women of the Afaayo Women’s Group have also passed their craft-making skills and enterprise knowledge from one generation to the next. Rebecca is Amber’s daughter and Sonya’s granddaughter. She was a young girl when the group started and watched on as her mother and grandmother learnt new skills and built a business together. Inspired by the powerful women around her, Rebecca now makes crafts with the groups.
When you buy products from Afaayo, some of the money goes back into capital for the group and the remainder is split between the women who were involved in making each of the different products that have been sold.
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