Shop with your heart. Fund a Revolution.
Who knew there was so much hope in hay? Basket weaving is more than tradition in Senegal; it’s a practical necessity. For several decades, Senegalese women have refined this traditional craft, capturing the eye of artists and designers from all corners of the world. Their baskets incorporate local hays and grasses, and more recently, strips of reclaimed plastic prayer mats for color accents. The artistry is instantly recognizable, and each basket is as unique as the woman weaving it. But until now, the bulk of profits sailed far away from the towns where they were needed most. Enter Jjangde. By encouraging conscious shopping, we created a cycle of employment designed to keep resources in the communities they come from and help give children the opportunities they deserve through education. Yeah, we think it’s pretty cool, too.
How it works: one community at a time
Our vision of a self-sustaining, scalable model began with one village in Senegal, West Africa. From here we saw that this idea had the potential to grow and serve multiple communities in need. The model is simple: local, hand-made goods employ local entrepreneurs, Jjangde connects the handmade goods from rural communities to global markets, and profits go to fund schools in the communities where the goods were made. As the schools succeed, we hope to grow across communities, countries, and even cultures. With a governing board of women from Senegal and Ousmane Gaye, Jjangde's COO and Founder, our programs are managed and owned by the people in Senegal, West Africa.
The Jjangde chain of sustainability starts with women. Senegalese women have long supported families of nine (or more) on a single dollar a day. Yet, in spite of the highly coveted goods created in this tiny country, poverty and lack of education greatly diminish a dollar’s reach. In the Jjangde chain of sustainability, our “practically not-for-profit model” takes the revenue generated by sales of these artisan goods and funnels them into a cyclical employment model. Women will earn far higher wages and the power to comfortably support their families. Plus, the additional monies will directly fund schools in rural villages.
How Jjangde baskets keep kids in the classroom
Nearly 50% of rural Senegalese children drop out of school before the age of 12, and a mere two percent of girls attend high school. With the additional income from the Jjangde model, families can send their children to school rather than keep them on family farms due to lack of resources. Because half of Senegalese adults have never been to school, this process will also help to establish a culture of formal education. Providing Senegalese children with the opportunity and culture to stay in school remains key to opening up their futures to other avenues and changing the prescribed expectations of low wages for livelihood.
It turns out that endurance in education starts with women, too. We have an agreement with all of our artists that as long as they are employed by the Jjangde cycle, they agree to keep their children in school. Not only that, but these baskets' profits, directed back into the community, can fund full-time schooling for over 100 children for an entire year.
What your purchase will do
When you purchase a basket through this campaign (using the reward structure on the right), the money funnels directly into the Jjangde cycle of employment. We are using IndieGoGo as a jumpstart for a process that is already in action. With a test run of baskets, we were able to fund a summer program that gave 300 students extra support for the upcoming school year. We also fully funded one year of school for 110 students. Not only that, but we developed an exchange program to strengthen the relationship between high schools in Senegal and the United States.
Now we need your help.
If we can raise $50,000, Jjangde would be able to move into a full year’s worth of production. We would have the capacity to hire 10 women full-time, open at least two schools, and bring an inventory of 5,000 baskets to the states.
$100,000 would cover administrative costs stateside and increase the reach and impact of our design. In just one year, we could employ 20 women full-time, open several schools, and educate hundreds of children with our sustainable community-based model.
In short, by shopping here with your heart, you will:
- Provide more girls the opportunity to go to school
- Help break the cycle of poverty
- Fund community-based schools
- Employ women and improve conditions not only for individual families, but for whole communities
Seriously, what could be better?
To date, over 50 volunteers have donated over 2,000 hours to get this project off the ground. We have thrown in $25,000 of our own money. Now it’s time to take this to the next level. Buy a basket or buy seven. Tell your friends, and your friends of friends. Send your family our way, too. We have one month to raise $50,000, and we believe that this is 100% possible.
When you buy goods through Jjangde, every purchase is a promise. Your generosity becomes a handshake between you and our families in Africa. But it doesn't stop here. Once we fund this campaign we need help to spread the word, to place our products in retail stores, and to promote sales through our online store. Any connections you may have, please let us know!
Our sincere thanks for helping us realize this dream. From our point of view, it combines the very best of humanity with a humble and idealized entrepreneurial spirit. We couldn’t be more proud to share it with you.
JOIN US & BE A PART OF
JJANGDE'S WORLDWIDE MOVEMENT!
Risks and challenges: learn about accountability on Indiegogo
There are risks and challenges inherent in the start of any new business venture. Due to the nature of handmade products, there may be a delay in production and/or delivery. However, we are prepared to hurdle any obstacle. We have a great team in place with expertise in small business and non-profit management, marketing and most importantly, team members on the ground in both countries. Plus, we have you, the Jjangde community. With you on our side there is no complication we can't overcome.
FAQ: have a question?
If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please know that each of your questions will be heard, but we may be slow to respond due to an increased volume of inquiries.