The Women Behind The Products
Asante Network is currently assisting women's groups in East Africa. The women who range in age from 20 - 60 are married and single mothers, widows, students, and grandmothers. These enterprising artisans all have similar goals. They want their children and grandchildren to have a better life! They know that education for their children is the roadmap out of poverty and into a more prosperous future.
The women enjoy working together and this gathering time yields many benefits. The primary benefit is that meeting in unison provides a "social" outlet. Collectively they learn new skills, critique each others work, solve common challenges, exchange ideas for new products and support the goals of the group.
In most cases, life is difficult. Their homes are small, usually two rooms and in some cases built by the women themselves. Around their houses may be small plots of land where they grow their own food. Some may own a goat, cow, pig, or a few chickens. Most have no running water or electricity. Water has to be carried from the communal well and gathering firewood for cooking is a daily chore. Children are trained early in life to help with these ongoing tasks.
And yet, as difficult as circumstances are the women find much joy in life. They laugh often, sing joyfully and are willing to share what they have with others. Their reservoir of hope is inspirational.
By purchasing their artisan crafts, you are helping them earn money to feed, shelter, clothe, and educate the people for whom they are responsible, including many HIV/AIDS orphans. Asante (thank you in Swahili) for purchasing products that make a difference!