Today we launch this little corner in our blog – at ‘Meet the Maker’ we will share the stories of those who are the hands behind our products and a little bit of their lives!

We’re starting with a journey all the way to the warm land of Tanzania to meet one of the artisans from WomenCraft – Hadija Jibulilo.

Hadija lives with her seven children in a remote rural village called Mwivuza in the rolling hills of the Kagera region, one of least developed regions in the northwest of Tanzania. Their traditional mud-house is made from the red soil of the area. Kagera is diverse and rich in culture but has faced instability from conflicts in neighbouring Rwanda and Burundi that have resulted in streams of refugees being settled in camps in the region.

Hadija is a passionate artisan and she loves to weave. She joined WomenCraft eight years ago as one of the business’s first artisans. Through her weaving, she has become the sole breadwinner of her household. Being part of WomenCraft means that she has access to international markets which generate fair prices and a reliable income. Apart from WomenCraft, there are no alternative market opportunities for local artisans.

When asked about an accomplishment she is most proud of, Hadija says that:

“I am proud that through my weaving, I am able to send my children to school and to buy decent clothes for us all. Best of all, I am in charge of our finances. I support our family without being dependent on my husband.”

In the Kagera Region, gender roles are still very traditional and women carry most of the household’s workload but are rarely able to manage their income themselves. WomenCraft invested in understanding local gender norms and empowering women through counseling sessions and workshops with husbands. Today, just like Hadija, the majority of women artisans are in charge of their incomes, which are used responsibly on the development of their families livelihoods.

 

Some of the products of WomenCraft are available here, at DOME. See availability here.

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