Sustainable enterprise is fundamental to Edirisa UK. Our most successful venture has been working with women's craft groups, helping them to turn their cultural products into profit.
Our Craft Community
Our craft groups give women the opportunity to earn an independent income.
Locally, five of our groups come under the Edirisa Crafts Community Based Organisation (CBO), while the others that we work with are independent community groups.
These groups produce a variety of ethnic Ugandan products which we purchase to sell in our shops, concessions and to lodges and other shops throughout Uganda. We ensure the women are paid fairly for their time and work closely with them on training, product development and equipment. In total we work with over 200 women, who together with their earnings, also benefit from a collaborative, social and supportive environment.
All profits generated from Edirisa Crafts go to support the Special Needs Education Centre.
Training & Development
We identified that product diversity was key to developing sales. In a market saturated by plain basket-ware, it was important that the women differentiated their offering. We work closely with the women's groups, developing designs and introducing new products to sit alongside their baskets. Our groups now produce a range of brightly coloured basket-ware with interesting designs. Some are fused with kitenge fabrics to marry these two ethnic styles together.
In addition, we have paid particular attention to quality, launching training programmes that help the women to develop their existing skills as well as learn new ones. Training workshops have covered tailoring, knitting, weaving, basket-ware, beading (jewellery & nets), hairdressing, recycled products and business skills.
Edirisa UK has donated sewing and knitting machines, weaving looms, tables, jewellery making kits and so much more to all of the craft groups that we work with.
We are grateful to Monde par la Main/Give a Hand for their support of our training workshops.
Tradition & Enterprise
Our crafts programme not only helps safeguard traditional knowledge but also promotes innovation and enterprise, giving women the opportunity to secure a long-term income.
Within the groups, women share skills and ideas on techniques, as well as workshop how their traditional crafts can be modernised and adapted for a contemporary audience.
We support the women with marketing and networking, allowing them to broaden their customer base. Giving them the skills, tools and knowledge to establish their own small enterprise, allows them to secure future business and a reliable income for themselves and their families.
Watch the women making baskets at Lake Bunyonyi.
This is a video presentation made for a Design For Fair Trade workshop.
Filmed by Miha Logar, Comfort Abemigisha and Steve Hargan and narrated by Jon Lee.