Explore Tekera Resource Centre

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Women members range in age from 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 related issues and to 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 gender-related issues. The would include relations between men and women, issues that arise between men and women in the household and the community, 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 forum for conversation and support.

- Sonya Sangster, Executive Director, ICEF

Why

Women come together in this group to gain income, to socialize with other women, to sustain and maintain cultural connection, and to augment their mental well being in a supportive environment.
Women in Uganda have traditionally had less access to education, income generation opportunity, nutrition and healthcare. In 2016, men in the workplace earned an average of 30-50% more than women. Living in rural homesteads isolates women in their communities. This TRC program was created to build support systems while earning economic and socio-cultural benefits through a cooperative styled women's group.

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 cosign, and the borrower agrees to the terms of repayment. This program has sustained >95% repayment rate since its inception.

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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 the Centre every Thursday to make their crafts. These are then sold in Tekera’s craft shop, the Equator Stop Tourist gift shop, and in gift shops in Masaka and oversees.

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 establishing the price.

Items that the group make include handbags, baskets, mats, brooms, cloth bags, jewelry, children’s dolls and mobiles, laptop cases, skirts, children's 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 because of the micro-loan program and the support of other women, they are more likely to feel a sense of commitment and community.
Because they are less isolated in their lives and able to share every facet of their lived experiences, the women who attend this group have become connected in ways which would not otherwise be possible because of their remote living conditions. They earn money, they feel included, are part of a working community which gives them capacity to achieve financial goals and meet family needs. The group allows them increased power to make choices in their homes and live a life that they choose. 'Empowerment' is a word that is often used in global development with ambiguous meaning. For ICEF, it is the ability for all to make decisions that will enhance their lives. In whatever context that may be, the capacity, agency and resources are available here for them and their families.

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