Disclosure: I was given a gift card to shop at Indego Africa so that I could write about using their site. I kept shopping beyond the gift card.
One of the most powerful things on the Indego Africa website is a quote on their Artisan page.
“I am now a well-to-do woman. I can eat what I want, wear what I want. I am confident, independent, and self-sufficient. I think back to what I was like only a few years ago and I do not recognize myself. And that is a good thing.” Domitille, 49, President of Hope Cooperative.
Hope Cooperative is just one of the many for-profit cooperatives that make up Indego Africa. These cooperatives have more than 400 women artisans. These are women who once were not able to do anything to help feed their families, and now they are empowered. Many of these women are widows from the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda and battle with HIV/AIDS.
Artisans that are connected to Indego Africa gain access to health services that include vision, human rights, and breast cancer awareness. Extensive training programs are also provided for many of the cooperatives. Many of these women have never had the luxury of an education until becoming an artisan. Classes are administered two to three hours a week at each partner cooperative.
Indego Africa allows you to connect with these women. By shopping in their online market place you are validating their artistry as well as supporting their families.
We don’t always know so much backstory about a shop before we make a purchase online. Personally, knowing how much love and care has gone into each handcrafted item makes everything much more precious and special. Every item that you purchase comes with a tag about the item and about the artisan that created it. She signs her name. When I held the bracelets that I had purchased to send to a friend for good luck this summer I felt the extra weight of care. When I folded up the cloth bag that W will be giving to one of his teachers for an end of the year gift I felt the connection.
And I won’t name any names but someone is getting some hand made pink shoelaces to celebrate the end of his school year.
ADDING: I just saw on a newsletter from Indego that they are having a Memorial Day sale. If you make any purchases today through Memorial Day you can get a 30% discount. Use code: FF30