What can you do today to advocate for a greater empowerment? How can we advocate for women who have not been given a voice?
Before we give you a two things you can do to empower women right now, what is empowerment? The best definition of empowerment would be increasing autonomy in people so they can better represent themselves and their communities. Simply put, empowerment is giving people the power to act for themselves.
This conversation is near and dear to our hearts at BOH as our mission statement is: “BOH seeks to sustainably empower widows and orphans living in Uganda.” Except, how do we go about empowering people, especially widows and orphans halfway across the planet? We take empowerment one step at a time and ask the experts of these Ugandan communities: the women who live there.
When Natalie (co-founder of BOH) first met these women, she asked, “What can I do to help?” The women were then able to speak out of their knowledge (that the Ugandan markets were already saturated with paper jewelry) and asked if Natalie could sell their jewelry to her friends back home. This practice became the cornerstone of BOH’s program development. All three of BOH’s programs (Beads Project, BSSP, and the Agriculture Program) were proposed by the women. The women were asked, “What does your community need to escape poverty?” and from their ideas came these programs. BOH’s role is simply to ask, listen, and provide guidance when needed.
During BOH America staff's most recent trip to Uganda, we witnessed how independent the women have become. The women saved and combined their money from beading and farming and reinvested their money in new business ideas. In Nakulkwe, villagers are looking to invest their profits from beading and farming into pig rearing. In Bubugo, they invested their profits to raise chickens. This is empowerment in action!
BOH started its mission of empowerment in 2011 and works tirelessly with our Ugandan friends and partners to end poverty in rural Uganda. In honor of our Ugandan friends and partners, we suggest two easy ways you can empower our friends in Uganda:
1. Purchase BOH Jewelry
These women are artists and have perfected the art of beading! They bead together in hope of a better tomorrow. Your purchase empowers the women because they achieve greater autonomy from the wages they earn from beading. Take a look at the jewelry in our shop!
2. Share Their Stories
YOU HAVE A VOICE. You have a platform to share the stories of these women and children through your relationships and social media! Learn about the women and children. Learn how BOH got its start. Learn the meaning of empowerment. Then share fearlessly, doing it for our Ugandan partners and friends who work to lift themselves and their families out of poverty. Above all, share their stories.
Starting today, we make a conscious decision to spread awareness, spread love, spread empowerment, and do it because of their hope.
post by Mary Forbes