Hajjarah Nabaggala is one of over 55 artisan women NAWOU works with under its social enterprise Handmade; an enterprise through which economic empowerment opportunities are extended to organized groups of vulnerable women. Through this initiative, women’s entrepreneurial skills and potential are enhanced to fashion artistic handmade products that portray Uganda’s cultural heritage. NAWOU supports product design, quality production, marketing, and capacity-building processes for vulnerable women.
From her inception into the production chain, Hajjarah has witnessed steady success both in her personal life and business. She and her fellow artisans have received capacity building and training in designing local crafts sold nationally and internationally. This was done through training on quality production, value addition, assurance, and marketing standards.
“I have been working with Handmade for over 10 years now and I have realized tremendous growth in my life. I have so far been able to acquire a piece of land, built my dream home, educated all my eight children up to university level where one is currently studying to be a medical doctor,” attested Hajjarah Nabaggala during an interview on Civic Space TV.
Hajjarah being able to participate and eloquently express herself in spaces outside of her comfort or norm can also be attributed to the training and opportunities NAWOU provides for the artisans. They are exposed to several business opportunities like attending national and international trade fairs and crafts expos like the annual NAWOU International Crafts Expo (NICE). This gave women artisans an opportunity to expose and market their products. The expo also extended craft training opportunities spearheaded by craft experts aiming at building women’s craft skills to effectively compete on the market. The initiative also provided a platform for women to share and learn from others’ experiences and also hold duty-bearers accountable for better service delivery and favourable economic policies.
“I am thankful to NAWOU for continuously supporting and creating opportunities for women like me. I have gained financial literacy and adopted the saving culture all because I was taught and reaped the benefits from the training NAWOU took us through. I also have to acknowledge the role it played during the pandemic when our businesses had stagnated due to transport restrictions placed by the government to curb the spread of COVID-19. NAWOU found ways to ensure our products were shipped on time and we had the income to sustain our households.”