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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
*This interview has been translated and edited for clarity and length.