This year we’re kickstarting our new social enterprise, Vumwe Designs! In working with 99 gender-based violence survivors-turned-entrepreneurs, we are constantly inspired. Below you’ll meet one of our artisans, Safina Shabani, who agreed to let us share a bit about her.

Safina Shabani, mom of four, is the chairperson of the group of women from the village of Makanya. She is a strong leader and is skilled at both batik and tie-dye. Director of Vumwe Designs, Catherine Wales, was able to ask her a few questions in preparation for Empower Tanzania’s Mother’s Day campaign in which we’re hoping to raise $15,000 to kickstart this social enterprise:

Catherine: What special skills do you bring to Vumwe Designs? 

Safina: I am the chairperson of our group, the mediator of emerging challenges in the group, and the protector of our unity.

C: How has your work with Vumwe Designs improved your life?

S: When I was young, I always dreamed of a good education and a better life. Since my work with Vumwe, I have been able to realize some of my dreams. I have been able to send my last born to school. I am also able to provide for my family’s basic needs. And I’m building a house! In addition to that, I have used my earnings from Vumwe as capital for another small business. This will help me to earn extra income and improve my life further. I also have hope for a better life for my children. They maybe can even build their own modern home someday!

C: What have you learned during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic?

S: I have learned to avoid unnecessary or large gatherings and I have learned the importance of taking care of myself and my family. My health is important and I need to take care!  I also have learned more about money, like how important it is to save and make good use of the money I have. It’s important to be prepared for times when I’m not able to work.

C: What beauty do you find in life?


S: I find great joy and beauty in my friendships.

C: How would your best friend describe you? 


S: Strong and confident.

C: What do your four children think of your work with Vumwe?

S: My children love what I do because it has helped in improving our lives and it helps to get income for different activities such as agriculture activities.

C: What do you like to do with your kids?

S: We love talking together as a family. We love to share ideas and we make decisions together. I have fun with my kids, especially during the holidays!

If you’re interested in learning more or getting involved with our new fairtrade social enterprise, you can check out the following:

  • Read more about Vumwe Designs HERE.
  • Shop our store HERE.
  • Donate HERE.
  • Tell your friends! Share this blog post and our social media posts!
  • Invite us to speak about women’s empowerment through entrepreneurialism at your community group.
  • Reach out to learn more:




*This interview has been translated and edited for clarity and length.