We want to grow and succeed so we may help our families by buying food and clothes, building proper homes, and educating our children, our grandchildren, and ourselves. We promise to live in the true spirit of Ubuntu...
— Nombulelo, Ilizwe Empowerment Director

The Ilizwe Empowerment sponsorship embodies the power of partnership, all in the name of educational and financial freedom for the crafters and their children. Our sponsors play a vital financial role, as monthly donations are fed directly back to the initiative.

Sponsor funds are used to purchase anything from sewing machines and fabric to scissors and rulers. Sponsor dollars also allow Ilizwe Empowerment to offset some of the risk in starting a new business and permit Universal Promise to initiate business classes in crafting, pricing, merchandising, marketing, accounting, and inventorying.

Sponsors may choose to play a role that goes well beyond financial support, however, and they are encouraged to do so. They may agree to consign items for sale in their hometowns, find a local business to carry wares, or collect items in support of this program. As skills emerge, the crafters are mastering anything from traditional beadwork to following a sewing pattern to putting their own spin cultural designs.

Ilizwe Empowerment members crafted a Code of Conduct that creates a business environment that is serious and that unites the artisans in a common purpose: educational and financial freedom. As mentioned, 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 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.

To become a sponsor, click here. To learn more, please contact us.


Ilizwe Empowerment Sponsors
Martha T. Cummings, Ilizwe Coordinator


Beth Dubyak
Brian and Lori Hogan
Christine Woods
Cindy Silvia
David and Laura Proietti
Erik and Kim Kohler
Martha T. Cummings
Martha Hirschman
Mary Ellen Lynch and Nicholas Pappas
Michelle Aumann
Molly Ryan Ewert
Rebecca Tyler
Susan Hayflick
Tracey McCoy Elliott
Valorie Sheehan