Each day, as stubbornly high unemployment plagues Uganda, many struggle to find any kind of work. This is nowhere more true than in the northern part of the country where two decades of war have left almost no infrastructure intact. In an effort to survive when no other work could be found, Francis Kidega and his family of eight began making jewellery out of the only thing they had access to: paper. They are now able to support themselves through the revenue these crafts bring, even as they learn how to take their new skill and turn it into a business, helping their neighbouring families in the process. Revenue gained from the sale of these products supports this family as they work, learn, grow and share.

FK

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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Uganda Snapshot

Population: 37.58 million
Capital: Kampala

Uganda is a fertile, land-locked country in East Africa, in the Africa Great Lakes region, with a tropical climate.

Great progress has been made in fighting HIV in Uganda, but 1.5 million people still live with the disease, and there are 1 million children orphaned by HIV/AIDS.

39% of girls are married by the age of 18. 37.7% of people in Uganda live below the international poverty line of US$1.25/day.

A6

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Recent years have seen intolerable suffering for women in the conflict-ridden country of Sudan where they have, systematically, been victim to violence and rape.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) sought ways to empower women in this troubled country. They looked at ways of creating employment opportunities, since women would be less vulnerable with greater independence, self-sufficiency, control of their lives and, of course, dignity.

As they sought ideas for women in business, they discussed the growing of hibiscus. This is plentiful in Sudan and is an ingredient used in tea products of fruit tea blends.

There was a problem with hibiscus business initiatives, however. While Sudan is renowned for producing high quality hibiscus for teas, around 18,000 tons a year, many Sudanese hibiscus farmers have remained caught in the poverty trap.  As hibiscus growers put it, “We produce the crop, then the traders come and take it on their terms.”

UNDP Sudan (3)It was a situation calling out for a Fair Trade overhaul.

A staff member from UNDP therefore posted a request on business.un.org. She asked for interested companies, dealing in hibiscus, to come together and discuss how to make trading practices fairer for the farmers. Some of the world’s leading businesses responded and the result was phenomenal. People from different levels of the hibiscus industry came together and brought significant change. This will impact the futures of at least 5,000 vulnerable women and girls in Sudan by, for example, seeing factories in Sudan becoming Fair Trade certified to ensure sustainable income for those involved.

This is a story that truly illustrates the power of partnerships!

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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Every day, 3,600 tonnes of food waste are sent to landfill in Hong Kong, according to Feeding Hong Kong. Meanwhile, people...

read more ...

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When Sri Lankan artist Sagara Ranga Liyanage decided to start a handicrafts business, he had to think outside the box. "I...

read more ...

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“I don’t want to throw this stuff out. I want it to go to someone who needs it. If only there...

read more ...

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COVID: SAME STORM, DIFFERENT BOATS  “This pandemic has magnified every existing inequality in our society,” Melinda Gates said of Covid-19. She adds:...

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