Mirembe was born with a simple idea in mind: To create an income, but mostly an opportunity for women in Uganda. How? By creating and marketing jewelry that women around the globe would happily purchase.
We were young and we had set off to Uganda on a volunteer and travel mission. We volunteered with women empowerment groups through ‘Brit-Ten Uganda,’ a volunteer and development center. We discovered a country of beauty, a fascinating culture and a group of magnificent women.
The women were war refugees with a complicated past. Most of them single mothers, with no education and barely enough work. Surprisingly enough some were even our own age! Their resourcefulness and skill amazed us. We came every week to teach them English and Mathematics.
Every meeting was always full of hugs, singing, and dancing. The more we got to know them, the more we opened up to each other and shared stories, chellenges and successes.
We noticed the women make jewelry making using traditional techniques and simply FELL IN LOVE! We bought a bunch for ourselves and for family and friends as souveniers from our time in Uganda.
Suddenly it hit us, like a stroke of lightning - these women have a skill, and this skill can be used as a way to drive them out of poverty. If only they would have a way to sell thier jewelry out of Uganda, they would be able afford rent, send their children to school, feed them nutritious food and even more! It would be amazing!
Then came the crowd funding campain. We needed to aquire the means in order to purchase products from the women, ship the products, open a website and establish ourselves! Thanks to our family, friends and friends of friends, word got out and we were able to reach our goal! Mirembe had officially begun!
We decided on 2 main ideas. Firstly, we were determined to ensure that the products would always be on trend and beautiful. Secondly, the women’s stories must be heard. Women around the world could identify with them, and be moved to take part in this trans-continental initiative to empower women and reduce poverty.
Fast forward a year and a half - We collaborate with NIAAD - ‘Nagenda Institute of Art and Design’ in Namulanda, Uganda. There the women come together (Moday to Friday) to create, learn and socialize while earning a stable income. We are lucky enough to have 2 amazing and dedicated local coordinators, Mary and Olivia. They teach the women Business Skills, Life Skills & English and implement the new bead designs. They are there for the women in times of need, for advice and for guidance.
Mirembe operates as a non profit organization. This means that every purchase you make directly makes an impact and supports the women.
We believe that with your cooperation, we can impact these women’s future with the hope that this initiative can spread to even more women around the world.
Thank you for taking part in our journey!
Tamar, Inbar and Shirli.