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Basket weavers are usually forced to sell their products to middlemen for a pittance, who go on to sell their goods to shops for a profit for themselves.
Women are on the frontline of the climate crisis and deforestation. Forest loss degrades soil, reduces biodiversity and intensifies drought – compounded by increasingly extreme weather. Responsible for food, water and firewood women are the most vulnerable from these impacts – catalysed by COVID-19.
Yet, empowered women are proven leaders in their community.
Educating girls breaks the poverty cycle. Salaries rise, early marriage is reduced, health improves and economies strengthen. As opportunity increases population growth decreases, reducing pressure on natural resources and increasing environmental conservation.
But female schooling is marginalised, particularly when girls hit puberty.
Over 80% of girls in Uganda skip school during their period each month.
30% drop out altogether.
Sanitary products have become extortionately expensive and rare. Schools have inadequate facilities. Girls also fear being bullied. So girls go absent, negatively impacting their studies. This increases cultural pressures, forcing girls to quit, enter early marriage or even fall pregnancy.
There is a simple, self-sufficient solution.
Through our Girls’ Empowerment Project we equip girls and their communities to better understand female health. We teach them how to create their own reusable sanitary pads from locally sourced materials. We enable them to educate their friends and generate a sustainable income. By ending period poverty, we empower young women to stay in school to realise their full potential.
Help us give girls back their education – to improve quality of life for all.
Our association EDUCATION IS GOLDEN was started in November 2020 and has the aim to democratize education in the weaving communities that we work with. Education is expensive in Ghana, families must not only pay fees but provide uniforms and books. As the weavers often work part-time, combining farming and other tasks within the communities, paying for school fees, uniforms and books can be a strain on the families and not always the priority. Younger children often stay home, and older teenagers may halt their education too early. The aim of the association is to help all members of the community to educate their children.
We hope that by the end of 2021 we can start our first initiative. Watch this space…
We work with two weaving communities in Bolgatanga, one of them is supervised by a couple who also run a charitable association supporting women’s health and education. The weaving of the lamps has been a great challenge allowing the weavers to earn more and develop their skills. Workers are guaranteed good pay, we also help them to develop their business by partnering with other companies.
We know that for communities to maintain sustainable access to education, they must have full ownership of the services installed. We work with the communities to develop every initiative, and local coordinators run training programs which support local teachers with the maintenance and integration of technology into their existing teaching goals and learning outcomes.
The result? Community members will not have to rely on long-term Simbi Foundation support and can instead pave their own way forwards, boosting self-reliance.