Explore Tekera Resource Centre

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Women range from age 15-75 years

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Most women spend their money earned on their children’s education or healthcare

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Women are able to get together in a safe and supportive space to talk about socio-cultural gender issues and build community.

Although the women at Tekera don’t identify with the term “gender” and there is no word or meaning for “gender” within the Luganda Language - women come together and often talk casually about issues western countries would identify as ‘gendered’ issues; relations between men and women, issues in the household and community between men and women, as well as issues of domestic labour and power hierarchies between men and women. They also talk about the economy, the weather, their families and politics. It provides a space for many forums of conversation and support.

- Sonya Sangster, Executive Director, ICEF

Why

Women come together in this group for economic, socio-cultural, and mental-emotional benefits.
Women in Uganda have traditionally had less access to education, income generation opportunity, nutrition and health-care. In 2016, men earned an average of 30-50% more than women in the workplace. At Tekera, living in rural homesteads isolates women in the community - so they created this program to build community and earn economic and socio-cultural benefits through a cooperative style club.

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Story

Selling traditional crafts to local and international markets increases women’s abilities to make choices in their homes and lives.
Tekera Craft Group started with a few local women who live in Tekera/Lwega and enjoyed making traditional crafts. Now over 50 local women are involved in the Group. Members come to make crafts at the Centre every Thursday. The crafts are sold in Tekera’s craft shop, the Equator Stop tourist gift shop, and in gift shops in Masaka. Brigitte Daley, one of TRC’s founders, really worked hard to help support the formation of this group and connected them to their first markets in Masaka.

The women set their own prices for sales, ensuring that they receive fair value for their goods. Each item is tagged by the woman who makes it – giving her name and the price.

The group also has begun a small micro-finance loans program, by reinvesting the profits they earn. Loans of up to 100,000 UGX ($50) are granted by committee members to help those with small business plans. Loans are approved when 3 members of the group co-sign, and the borrower agrees to the terms of repayment. This program has sustained an over 95% repayment rate since its inception.

Items that the group make include bags, baskets, mats, brooms, cloth bags, jewelry, children’s dolls and mobiles, laptop cases, skirts, childrens clothing, and sandals.

For the last two years the women have created cloth bags for the attendees of Rotary District conferences in Canada, as well as corporate conferences for companies from Vancouver, B.C.

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Impact

Women in this group thrive economically and socially.
Women in this group thrive. They are less isolated in their lives and feel supported in every facet of their lived experiences. They earn money, they feel less alone, they build community, and it gives them strength to achieve their wants and needs. It allows them increased power to make choices in their homes, and live a life that they choose. Empowerment is a word that is used a lot in global development with ambiguous meaning. For us, empowerment is the ability for all individuals to make the choices that they want for themselves and their families (in whatever context that looks like for them), and the capacity, agency and resources to achieve this.

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