When you are raising young children, you hope they will grow up to be pillars of society; kind and caring towards others. There must be a lot of proud family members behind the philanthropic group of students who are making a difference to communities in Botswana.
Ray of Hope is a registered youth-run organisation working towards educating and empowering underprivileged children and women in rural areas of Gaborone. This month, a dedicated group of secondary and tertiary students have piloted a women-empowerment enterprise, Hope for Her. The idea is simple: to sell handmade jewellery by destitute women and plough back the generated funds into their community through vocational training, rural outreach and income generation.
The beneficiaries are mothers who want to be able to support their families. As well as practical skills, the project gives them an outlet from their everyday chores; it builds self esteem and confidence and it gives them an opportunity to create something beautiful that can be shared with others. The project is already underway in Gamodubu and there are plans for expansion into other areas over the next few months.
Family Gems loves the values behind this initiative: female empowerment, entrepreneurship, artistry, industriousness and supporting families.
The young people behind the project have also considered its environmental impact. In an effort to promote environmental consciousness, the products are primarily made from recycled materials e.g. paper-bead jewellery, plastic-woven accessories etc.
Hope For Her’s Project Goals
The students are also able to apply the skills they are learning in school and university to create a well thought out, structured enterprise. The results speak for themselves: their recent sales at local farmer’s markets and events have seen their stock run out. The jewellery they have been making is unique, very reasonably priced and each piece tells a story of hope.
The team have clear goals and expectations for the project:
1. To tap into the artistry and skills of women in rural areas of Botswana.
2. Implement vocational training and sustainable programs to enable financial independence and self-reliance.
3. They want communities to be able to share Tswana culture through arts and crafts.
4. They aim to cultivate awareness and consciousness about sustainable living, environmental protection
How Can you Help?
If you are inspired by this group of Batswana youth and their initiative, you can support them in the following ways:
• Donate scrap fabrics, sewing equipment and recyclables such as old magazines, publications and newspapers. If your business generates waste, why not put it to good use?
• Share your skills and talents. If you are an artisan who can help train these women in new skills then please get in touch with the team.
• Support start up costs. You can make a donation to help Hope for Her purchase sewing machines and other essential equipment for the communities.
Find out More
It’s always heartwarming to see a home-grown organisation making a positive impact on our community. It’s inspiring to see young people who are so passionate and dedicated to helping others.