Trades of Hope Helps Refugees in Uganda Buy Land

Giving Power Over Poverty

Trades of Hope believes in partnering with women and communities to give families power over poverty, human trafficking, and abuse. Gifts of Hope, an outreach program of Trades of Hope, recently gave conservation refugees in Uganda a generous donation to help them buy land for Batwa Artisans who make our Batwa Basket Set and Batwa Ornament.

Who are Batwa Refugees?

For thousands of years, these “Keepers of the Forest” foraged and lived peacefully among the native plants and wild animals in their ancient rainforest homeland, never lacking shelter, food, or water. 

Batwa women stored their plentiful resources in decorative handwoven baskets.

When conservationists declared Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest a preservation area for 350 endangered gorillas, the Batwa people were driven out of their homeland and relocated to a foreign treeless land.

Despised by their countrymen and lacking the agricultural skills needed to survive in this strange new landscape, many of their people perished from violence and starvation.

Every day, Batwa men and women continue to endure intense discrimination as they’re routinely denied access to jobs, safe housing, hospitals, and education.

Hoping to save their children from homelessness and starvation, Batwa mothers began weaving and trading the traditional baskets of their tribal ancestors. In 2019, Trades of Hope partnered with Batwa Artisans to offer them a global market to sell their baskets. These baskets create opportunities for Batwa women and mothers to earn a living wage that can provide enough income to feed, house, clothe, and educate their families.

My name is Nyirabaza. I’m a 45-year-old single mother of ten children. One child died, and I now have nine children. Four are married and five are still in school. Ever since I lost my husband, selling baskets has been my only source of income. I’ve managed to pay school fees for my children, buy them clothes, and feed them.


– Nyirabaza, Artisan from Uganda

Why Do Batwa Refugees Need Land?

Watch The Story of the Batwa Basket Set to discover how you can help mothers in Uganda, like Nyirabaza, keep their babies.

Every workday, the Batwa women routinely gather in public common areas to dye and weave their baskets… until recently, when they were driven out of their daily workspace.

Needing a safe and stable place to work, the women decided to step out in faith and pursue their dream of purchasing their own land.

In addition to the fair wages these Artisan already receive – up front – for their baskets, Trades of Hope donated additional money to be used for the express purpose of helping them purchase their own land.

This land will allow the Batwa women to work without fear of discrimination, violence, or eviction.

About Gifts of Hope

Gifts of Hope is an important link in the chain of empowering women out of poverty. It is the vehicle through which we give back through a percentage of our product sales. Throughout the year, Trades of Hope gives donations to organizations with a specific vision in mind: fighting for justice for women around the world. That is why, in addition to the work we are doing by creating sustainable businesses, we choose to use Gifts of Hope to contribute to the efforts of others.

About Trades of Hope

So many women live in poverty, not because they lack abilities, but because they lack opportunity. Trades of Hope was started to give women that opportunity for a better life.

Each woman has a story, and with Trades of Hope’s help, their story has changed from pain and struggle to a story of hope!

Trades of Hope works with Artisans and organizations that are helping women in difficult circumstances. Some women have been rescued from sex slavery. Others are raising handicapped children, alone. Some are in war-torn countries and others have HIV/AIDS and leprosy.

These women have never had the chances we’ve had, yet they are just like us in so many ways. They love their families…and hope and dream of a better life for them.

Trades of Hope is helping by offering their products through home parties, so every woman can put food on her family’s table, a roof over their heads, and get medical care and education for her children.

You can partner with Trades of Hope and Gifts of Hope to make fashion a powerful force for good.

2 Ways You Can Help

In addition to special gifts like donating funds to buy land for Batwa Artisans in Uganda, every year Trades of Hope gives a percentage of our overall product sales to support organizations that give women power over poverty, human trafficking, and abuse. Every purchase makes an impact.

It’s simple.

  • PARTY – Gather Your Friends at Home or Online
  • SHOP – Check out fair-trade fashion, accessories, and home décor while discovering inspiring stories about Artisans who create them.

GET PAID for wearing and sharing fair-trade products you love. Every product sale helps create safe jobs with fair wages for vulnerable women in 16 countries, including Batwa mothers in Uganda.

Discover More

Discover how Trades of Hope purchases are Providing Hope to Conservation Refugees in Uganda”.

Trades of Hope is partnering to give hope to Batwa refugees in Uganda.

You can partner to give hope to Batwa refugees in Uganda.

*See Partner for Details

Kathy Thomas
About Kathy Thomas
Kathy Thomas is an inspirational writer with a passion for helping women discover and celebrate their unique gifts and abilities. Kathy is part of the Communication Team at Trades of Hope focusing on Artisan Development.

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