Our producers are all female and either work for themselves or are part of local women's group. The biggest group is the Hand Products of Tanzania (HOT). This group is made up 35 female entrepreneurs from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania under the leadership of Mrs Elihaika MremaMrs Elihaika Mrema and her daughter
Elihaika (in white) is the team leader of HOT as well as a textile producer. She is wearing one of her dresses.
She promotes the work of the group and ensures that they have access to public funding to enable them to participate in high profile events
Some groups members are semi or illiterate and rely on her for issues such as pricing
Julia is a member of the HOT. She is a widow and looks after a family of nine. She was forced out of her village by fellow Masaai women who were concerned that she may go after their men.
Julia’s area of expertise is beading
Madame Rasolariosoa Henriette
Madame Rasolariosoa is a unique and rare African woman
Working from her home in Antananarivo Madagascar, she is pictured here with some of the ten men that she employs, they cut, sew etc to produce amazing baskets and bags
Madame Patricia specialises in silk textile. She has a workshop in a rural location where silk is produced.
She uses her home in Antananarivo as a show room for potential customers and employs other women who weave the silk yarn to produce scarves and silk suits.
Mbuya Charity Uganda
This group is based in one of the slums of Kampala Uganda and group is lead by Jolly Wako (far left). The group supports women affected by HIV and AIDS who would otherwise have no support .
They weave baskets and straw mats (Kiganda mats or Mkeka)
Lillian Cydia Kyabagi
Lillian is 70 years old and is one of our weavers in Southwest Uganda. Lillian lives around Lake Bunyonyi, and the biggest change around the lake, according to her, is that bodies do not turn up in the lake as they used to do during Amin's time and that there has been an increase in tourism to the area. Lillian is a widow and was left penniless when her husband, who had three wives, died. She uses the papyrus on the shores of the lake to weave baskets, and before the arrival of a local co-operative, to which she belongs, she had no market access for her baskets. She is pleased that her baskets have found a new audience and that she is able to have an income from her weaving skills
Jacqueline is 28 years old is married and has one child. She is very unusual for an African woman in that she is very concerned about population growth and is determined to limit the size of her family. Jacqueline's husband teaches at a local school and she supplements the family income by weaving baskets and sewing children's clothes that are sold through her local co-operative in Southwest Uganda.