Helping women helps everyone
The Ilizwe Empowerment Initiative unites Nomathamsanqa artisans who, bead by bead, stitch by stitch, embrace the spirit of individual and community advancement to fulfill the hope of equality. In recognition of the abundant Xhosa spirit and talent, UP pays craftspeople a wage that is well above their normal salary, if they are fortunate enough to be employed. It also affords women the freedom to carry out their efforts in the crafting workshops UP provided and renovated or in the comfort of their own homes, where they may care for their children. Furthermore, 100% of the profits from craft sales are reinvested in Ilizwe Empowerment and UP's ongoing improvement of local schools through teacher training, renovations, state-of-the-art technology, and academic incentives for students and educators. The aim is for this combination of skills to provide women with an opportunity to become financially independent and to help them secure a position of importance in society, one that they have always earned but for which they have rarely been recognized.