Our current income-generating action takes many forms. Our largest program, basket weaving in Rwanda and Uganda, employs 3,000 men and women between the two countries. Orders for these baskets are placed and purchased weekly and keep the weavers working to supply product year-round. With their success, the producers have built bigger homes, sent kids to university and paid their children’s annual school fees. To our weavers across East Africa, baskets are change agents.

Through our partnerships with sewing cooperatives in Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, All Across Africa has created sewing jobs for many men and women. Their sewn handbags, table linens, aprons and apparel is purchased and supplied to our international markets. We’ve also trained groups of rural village youth to become tailors, and have worked with established cooperatives looking for market opportunities. Many of our sewers make more money than college-educated schoolteachers in their village, and at times have been the highest wage earners in their area.

All Across Africa is a partner with many different jewelry cooperatives across Africa. These include paper bead, clay bead, woven, and brass and aluminum jewelry cooperatives in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. The astonishingly wide variety of materials available across the African landscape helps create vast employment opportunities for many people.

Artisans use rustic and natural, free-range, Burundian beef leather to make beautiful handbags, sandals and wallets. These products are also embellished with East African beadwork in traditional and contemporary patterns and colors. Every piece is hand-stitched, and handbags are lined with traditional Burundian cotton gitenge (local fabric). All of the raw materials originate in Burundi. Great attention is paid to the finishing so that these traditional hand-made African products meet the standard demanded by international markets.

Horn and bone have long been used by cultures worldwide to create objects of utility (tools) and decorative art objects. In Uganda horn and bone are regarded as waste, and the art of recycling them into marketable objects is a master stroke of ingenuity. By collecting the raw material from local butcheries, artisans create beauty from garbage, powering a thriving industry that supports orphan heads of households and young men otherwise unable to find work.