Hello, GBN has started the sale of Beautiful African Crafts from ‘Bereesera’, a local NGO in Uganda.
Bereesera provides opportunities for single mothers and other women in Uganda to support themselves by producing beautiful handicrafts made from leather and kitenge, local colourful fabric.
Have a look at our new products in our online shop.
It is our pleasure to introduce Akane Yoshino, a founder of Bereesera.
Please have a look!
|Left: Ms. Najuma, Right: Ms. Yoshino|
Development of Bereesera
Akane Yoshino has been key in the establishment of Bereesera. Recognising the plight of single mothers – either through unplanned pregnancy, divorce or widowhood – she built on the previous work of a JOVC (Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers) volunteer who identified an opportunity to help. In Uganda unemployment is high and it is difficult to find a job and it is much harder for single mothers to support themselves and their children. The Bereesera – meaning shining or attractive – organisation was born out of this to provide ongoing training and support for these single mothers to work together to earn a living.
Akane built on the work of the JOCV volunteer, who trained Najuma a school drop out to be a leather craftsman. Overcoming initial communication difficulties—neither speaks the other’s language—Najuma’s skills have now improved to the point where she trains other women. Starting from a single woman, Bereesera now works with 10 women who are now increasing resources for supporting their children.
Using the learning from the Bereesera work, Akane established a link with another women’s group, TORUWU (Training Rural Women in Uganda), in 2015 to expand their training opportunities. Sales for Bereesera products help support TORUWU thorough sewing training and provision of basic tools for women who live in economic and social hardship.
The uniqueness of our products stems from the elaborate hand stitching carefully sewn by our single mothers. The hand stitching makes each product unique but also ensures that more women can be involved. The combination of the best leather and kitenge cloth produces attractive products that will appeal to a variety of customers. We are developing our product range from simple coasters, pot mats, computer mouse pads and key rings to include more complicated products such as pouches, shoulder bags and passport holders. Our shoebill—a prehistoric looking bird which lives in some of our swamps--keyrings and passport holders are particular hits at our local markets. Our product line is growing all the time so keep coming back!
Your purchases from Bereesera not only help their members to earn a living but also help empower other hardworking single mothers in Uganda to seek better opportunities for themselves and for their children.