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Kyamaleera Women's Craft Association

Kyamaleera Women's Craft Association

Kyamaleera (ch-I-ah-mah-lay-lah) is a community association of women artisans working together to develop alternative incomes using traditional skills. While they gather for meetings and occasionally to work together, more often, they weave or embroider from home when they can find a free moment between caring for children, cooking, cleaning, harvesting, or collecting water. 

These women live in a rural community surrounding a small patch of private forest where a wild population of chimpanzees struggles to survive. In partnership with the Ugandan-based Chimpanzee Trust and the Bulindi Chimpanzee & Community Project, we are working with these women to increase their access to a larger market so they can build sustainable livelihoods for their families that do not depend on the slash and burn agriculture currently threatening the chimpanzees. 

Since partnering with Lucy & Jo, for the first time and entirely on their own, the women have started a group savings program! It’s the first time they’ve ever had extra income and they chose to use it to set up a structure that empowers women in the group to take out micro-loans to complete projects or start small businesses. They are also each contributing a small amount into a larger, permanent savings account. How amazing is that?!