Empowering Uganda Women Through Skills Development
Equipping To Empower.
When we first arrived in Uganda almost 6 years ago, the thing that struck us the hardest wasn’t just the level of extreme poverty ravaging communities, but it was how poverty was effecting women specifically.
We found that nearly 64% of Ugandan women were illiterate, AND nearly 46% of young girls marry before the age of 18.
Because women in Uganda society aren’t valued equally, they face many disadvantages and barriers to opportunities afforded to women in the US and other parts of the world.
They’re prevented from rights to ownership, access to education is limited, and physical and sexual assault is prevalent. Most mothers are abandoned with children to provide for and raise all on their own.
With little to no education and very little skills to apply in the workforce, they are forced to scrape by and find whatever means are necessary to provide for their families.
Some women may be so desperate that they even resort to using their bodies in trade to be able to afford medicine and food for their child.
It’s these types of conditions that perpetuate severe problems of unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, and abandoned children.
This was why Michelle Huo, Wando International’s founder, felt compelled to do something to help these women. She wanted to EQUIP them with the skills they needed to make an honest and safe livable wage.
Skills that would allow them to not only provide for themselves AND their families, but would give them the freedom to not have to subject themselves to constant danger.
Wando International Partners To Empower Uganda Women
In 2013, Michelle partnered with 60 Ugandan women looking to escape the effects of extreme poverty, driven by the MISSION to get them on the path towards self-sufficiency.
She started a project that would teach them the skill of rolling beads AND handcrafting them into attractive pieces of wearable jewelry. Thinking resourcefully and being cost-effective they began sourcing their materials from recycled paper, bicycle spokes, and fishing line.
In a very short amount of time she was able to take a woman with no education or skills, and TRANSFORM them into a jewelry artisan.
After equipping women enrolled in the Bead Project through Skills-development, Michelle set up a Direct-Trade purchasing model where every woman’s jewelry pieces could be purchased directly by buyers in the US and abroad, to ensure they get the HIGHEST earning potential based on the quality of their work.
This motivates EVERY woman, young mother, and widow partnered in the Bead Project to deliver their best, because they know their work brings joy to other women around the world.
Over the years Wando’s Bead Project has EMPOWERED WOMEN to move out of the slum, put their children into school, and adequately provide for their families.
It’s AMAZING to watch these women who had no hope at one time turn into owners of their own businesses.
Now they can make GOALS for the future, take actionable STEPS to get there, and ACHIEVE THEIR DREAMS.
To view some of the BEAUTIFUL handmade work created by these women, Go Visit Our Online Store!