Our Spice Route collection is in collaboration with “Upendo means love”, an organization that unites and empowers Muslim and Christian in Zanzibar through education and artisanship. Upendo has set up a school, where they train women in sewing, family planning, and basic healthcare. Our Spice Route collection is the result of the hard work of these women; some craft at Upendo’s workshop which provides a caring and nurturing environment, while others have set up their own small businesses through the help of Upendo. With every item you purchase from the collection, we help Upendo bring more women into the active world. You can find out more about their work on www.upendomeanslove.com.
“I hope that the skills I learn here will help me to free my life. The sewing skills will help me in the years to come to be less dependent on others, and to believe more in my capabilities. ”
“I found out that Upendo had a wish that Muslim and Christian women would be together. Before joining, I had the opinion that Muslims were dangerous people. But now it is different, we enjoy working together in harmony. “
Eliakira (furthest left)
Upendo gives me the change to empower other women in Zanzibar in a very special way. I hope my efforts there will help make peace more sustainable in this world. I feel that through Upendo, I am changing the lives of my fellow women, and that makes me happy. I have also changed the way I view women from other religions. My future goal is to further expand our work and efforts at Upendo so that we can reach more women by increasing our customer base.
Kantate (furthest left)
Upendo has allowed me and many other women to get education and employment. We are working with people from different religions and tribes, getting to know and love one another. I did not think this was possible. Now I want to become a designer and make my own designs, and that will still take some work and efforts!
I wanted to become independent. I wanted to gain knowledge and skills and gain independence from that. I really like working in this environment, with people from different faiths – it is very new. I feel I have not only gained independence but that I am also helping society with Upendo, which is amazing! My goals for the future are to expand those activities further to continue increasing my independence.
I wanted to gain knowledge and get out of the poverty trap I was in. Upendo now has given me this chance, and also the chance to get to be, work and cooperate with people from different faiths. My future dreams are to improve further my skills and expand, expand, expand.
Our Silk Road collection is in collaboration with a Pakistani organization called Behbud, which means “advancement” in Urdu. Behbud brings income-generating education and much needed healthcare training to underprivileged women in Pakistan. The organization has supported the advancement of women in Pakistan for over 40 years, enabling more than 3,000 women to partake in the decision-making and leadership of their families. With every handcrafted item you purchase from the collection, we help Behbud support more talented women and improve the lives of many Pakistani families. You can find out more about the organization on www.behbud.org.
“I began as a tracer, and then learned how to embroider and sew… Now I have become a stitching teacher. The best part of my job is that enriching environment and passion of all the women. “
“I love it when I make different styles of stiching and people appreciate my work. It gives me more courage to continue working. “
“As a child, I used to make dresses for me and my friend’s dolls because I love kid’s clothing. When I came to know about Behbub, I joined it and started stitching here. I love to play with colors. That is the reason I enjoy more in making clothes for smaller ages rather than elders. “
“I joined Behdud because of its environment. Behdud allows me to use my skills and knowledge about stiching as well as push myself in areas that I am unsure of myself. “