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|About||Chibote Women is a group of 16 craftswomen working together as a small business weaving beautiful baskets out of local grasses and recycled plastic bags.|
|Mission||We are working to provide a liveable wage for each woman in the group. We want to increase the standard of living at the house hold level; ensuring that each child goes to school, each family has a balanced and sufficient diet, and individual financial goals of each family are attainable.|
Chibote Women is a group of 16 craftswomen working together as a small business weaving beautiful baskets out of local grasses and recycled plastic bags. This project is an incredible fusion of artistic creativity, environmental resource management and clean-up, and women's empowerment. We work and live in Mantanyani Village, located in rural Southern Zambia.
We started meeting as a literacy class. This developed to include budgeting and basic business lessons. The Chairwomen of the group knew how to make the baskets, a hobby that the older women in the village do to pass time and make a small bit of side cash. In an attempt to raise some fast capital and gauge interest as a potential business we sold 5 baskets outside the village. We got overwhelmingly positive feedback and decided to pursue the idea further of making and selling baskets. The business itself has grown; as of now all 16 women are actively making baskets and developing their own individual craft style. The growth of the business has opened up the opportunity for us to start a savings group and working towards achieving our financial goals as a group and as individuals.
The grasses are harvested in Mantanyani village. Each woman goes into the bush with a sickle, cuts, cleans, dries and bunches the grasses they use. The plastic bags are collected as waste from households, restaurants, shops and general litter around the community. They are washed, bleached, dried, sorted and cut into usable strips. The thread used to sew the baskets is from recycled mealie-meal sacks, collected as waste from households and shops and disassembled thread by thread.
Once the materials are collected, cleaned and sorted the baskets can be started! A small bunch of grass is wrapped in strips of plastic creating a grass and plastic “rope” that is then wound and sewn together with the thread of the mealie-meal sacks and a large needle.
It takes 20+ hours of work to sew one basket. Each basket is completely unique and r
|Products||Unique hand-crafted baskets|