Our StoryThe Nakate Project was launched at the end of 2010. Nakate is an initiative working on the ground in a rural area of Uganda called the Nakasangola district. Nakasangola is known for its poverty, it’s problem with AIDS, malaria and TB, witchcraft, drinking problems, polygamy, prostitution, and for its abuse of women and children.
Because of it’s rural placement, there is a lack of aid in the district, and thus a lack of tourists. So, the women in our district are less developed skill-wise than women in more populated areas of the country because they haven’t had a market to sell to. At the same time, they also have less opportunity business wise, and have been more marginalized than women in more developed areas of the Uganda.
We launched Nakate in Nakasangola on purpose, because we felt that these
women, in particular, needed to be noticed and empowered. So, for a year
now, we’ve been working to help them grow in their newly acquired skill as jewelry makers. Along the way, we’ve been focusing on helping
them to re-construct how they view themselves as women. Instead of poor,
diseased, left behind, we want them to see themselves as artisans,
designers, business women, and as women that have the power to make
choices – choices about where they live, about whether they send their
children to school, about where they want to open a bank account, and
what they’d like to do with their money.
The ImpactIn February, we will be spending two months on the ground working with the women in our project to expand our reach beyond jewelry to shoes and bags. We'll be helping them to understand quality control as they work to fulfill wholesale orders, and helping train them in time and money management. We will also be implementing the work of several local Rwandan immigrants, as we have them teach our artisans to make tightly woven bags, as well as leather sandals and cow horn jewelry.
What We Need & What You Get
Because we are a company that's still at the grassroots level, we're at the point where we're turning women that would like to work for us away because we just don't have the financial means to take them on as artisans yet. We're growing slowly yet surely, but our lack of funding keeps us from buying a huge amount of items on the ground. We've become the most reliable source of income in Kakooge, and there are women waiting to become part of our program. Our goal on the ground in February is to be able to buy more items and expand our reach. Your funding will help us do that as we work to buy bags, shoes and cow horn items from the women we work with. The money you donate will be used for these purposes exclusively, and will not be put towards travel expenses or other overhead costs.
Team on This Campaign:
Shanley is Nakate's founder, and will be working from the ground in February to help implement our goals in Uganda.
Sheila's our business extraordinaire, working to help expand our reach from her location in South Africa.
Antonio is Nakate's wardrobe director, helping us to market our products from the third world in the fashion industry, and celebrate the goods of Ugandan women through photography shoots and other relevant media.
As our systems administrator, Gina keeps Nakate's storefront and website running smoothly, helping customers with orders, making sure that we are able to accurately fulfill orders on time and getting us through any hiccups in our distribution process online.
Shannon has been representing Nakate as our designer from our beginning in 2010. She brings her unique design eye and online marketing expertise to our site and material, and helps us to best present the stories and work of our artisans.