Developing sustainable trade uganda

Working with over 6,000 local people in the Rwenzori region of Uganda, our Sustainable Trade Programme was developed in 2011 to enable parents to increase their incomes so they could afford to send their children to school.

Our aim at TK Maxx is to help parents ensure their children complete primary education. We do this by helping them increase their income from the production and sale of coffee, cocoa, cotton and crafts. We’re proud to be able to sell their products in our stores from award-winning Rwenzori coffee to traditional handmade baskets and crafts.

Craft Baskets

Our beautiful handmade baskets are made using traditional techniques. The income from regular sales of crafts helps families afford school meals and supplies for their children.

 

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Coffee

We work with over 1,000 coffee farmers in the Rwenzori mountains. They are members of two Fairtrade certified Co-ops, earning up to 20% more for their coffee as a Fairtrade Premium.

 

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Spotlight on Rwenzori’s craftswomen

For over 10 years, the Sustainable Trade Programme has empowered 2000+ women from rural communities in Rwenzori, Uganda to increase their incomes, keep their children in school and adopt leadership roles. Read on to hear their stories and discover how their lives have improved.

Rose Mbabazi

“Nothing makes me more happy than having my own money, it’s priceless and that’s my wish for every woman”

Rose Mbabazi first joined her Women’s Group as a Secretary, and the income allowed her to support her family financially and take care of her children’s needs. She developed her skills and learned how to build meaningful relationships in the community, which led to her becoming the Chair of the group and the first female Chair of her village – winning against five men in the last election.

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Beatrice Kemigisa

“It gives me great pleasure to become an advisor of the group and provide mentorship to upcoming Leaders”

Beatrice Kemigisa is one of the pioneer members of her group. She has been a leader since its inception in 2013, and last year she stepped down to mentor upcoming leaders. In this period, the group grew from 20 to 150 members! Her leadership experiences have built her confidence, and her income helped her educate her children – two of whom are now qualified nurses.

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Zirian Biira

“Thanks to this weaving skill, I have been able to improve my understanding and be an example to fellow women in my village”

Through her weaving income, Zirian Biira was able to support her children’s education as well as her own. She earned a university diploma in public administration and management and also built her leadership skills, eventually becoming her group’s international representative at various events across Africa. 

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Since the project began, over 6000 local people have benefited from improved income through the production and sale of their handmade baskets and crafts, and now more children are completing their primary school education.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused closures of borders, schools and universities in Uganda. TK Maxx and Homesense continue to support Western Ugandan communities with grants to support education and trade through the Rwenzori Sustainable Trade Centre.

Watch this video to hear more about how our Sustainable Trade Programme is helping.

(This video was recorded in 2018)

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