Sseko Shop at the Kindred League!
(A shameless endorsement of why you should buy Sseko!)
My living room smells rugged sweet, with gloriously deep undertones of earthiness and harvest, and notes of fine craftsmanship. Or more truly, craftswomanship. Y'all...my Sseko box came today.
Beli, Desta, Liye, Josephine, Enat, Grace Jr...the list goes on and on. I'll tell you more of their story later. But I will attest that these ladies are very good at their craft and their work is top notch. I have a huge box of sandals, laces, bags, and jewelry ready to find their next home.
I have been rather opposed to the direct sales model until I heard about Sseko. It's as if Tom's, Compassion International, Oprah, and Saddleback Leather had a baby (maybe a grandchild). And this baby took all the challenges of life and just ran, full force, at all those challenges! When you purchase an item from Sseko you provide a living wage for a woman in Uganda. You support their talents and those of other artisans around Africa. We'll talk more about living wage too, but imagine what you think Fair Trade Certified is and bump it up several notches. That's some really good stuff.
The money also goes on to provide a handful of women in Uganda each year additional scholarships to go to college. And not just a paltry amount to cover the cost of a textbook. We're talking up to 300% what they are saving already for college. So far almost every woman in the program has gone on to college and has either graduated or is still in school working towards her degree. Pretty amazing. Instead of handing over money willy-nilly to governments or aid services, your purchase goes directly towards the wages of these women first, not as a handout, but as a fairly earned salary. In turn these women are empowered, take the opportunity to learn a trade and/or go to school.
As a Sseko Fellow (those of us on the stateside who sell Sseko wares and tell the story of the company), we shamelessly capitalize on good fashion sense, beautifully designed products, and the intrinsic desire to good. You could buy those sandals/tote bags/earrings over there at your local department store or boutique shop. Or for the same price (and better quality) you can support everyone who is part of the Sseko family on the mission to change the world. Or at least a little part of it. Shop local -> Impact Global.
I'll be talking a lot more about Sseko and some other wonderful folks who are on similar missions in future posts. Stay tuned!