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Kwagaalama Handicraft Association

Kwagaalama Handicraft Association

Myende is a small island community on Lake Victoria. Located ‘next door’ to the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary, we first met the women of the Kwagaalama Handicraft Association in November 2015 during a visit to the sanctuary. Kwagaalama means 'Loving each other' in Lugandan. The main source of income in the community is fishing and many people on the island subsist on less than $3.00 a day, have no electricity or running water, and face significant challenges on a daily basis. 

Our short-term goal with these women was to create a simple product with their existing skills that we could order repeatedly & in meaningful quantities. They now produce the ‘packaging’ for our jewelry – drawstring bags sewn with bright fabrics and featuring their handmade paper beads.

While we work to develop additional handcrafts, we are also helping support community development initiatives that are led by the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary as part of their community outreach work. Our first small project was providing supplies to the primary school with 150 students from kindergarten to 6th grade and in 2017 we donated $450 to the Myende Hygiene Project. Thanks to your purchases we were also able to help fund a life-saving surgery for Ruth, the group leader (pictured above left).

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