EMPOWERED WOMEN EMPOWER WOMEN
Shay Mitchell Giveback Campaign for Rwandan Artists
Purchase exclusively at songadesigns.com
Songa Designs International is a lifestyle and accessories brand that empowers a new generation of women to embrace their own potential. Songa Designs employs over 150 Rwandan women who hand-craft high quality accessories using skills passed down through generations. After working with Songa, many of the artisans are able to use their fair wages to achieve economic independence – purchasing land, health insurance for their families and sending their children to school for the first time without depending on a husband.
All Songa Designs products are woven with local materials including banana leaf, sisal plant and maize leaves that would otherwise end up in landfills. While all of Songa’s pieces incorporate the cultural and traditional weaving skills of the artisans, the designs blend in modern aspects that are new to the artisans who have had very little exposure to the western world, so access to advanced training is incredibly helpful for these women to develop their skills. Training is also important when working with the artisans to inspire their own creativity and confidence in the work they do. This is why Songa is partnering with Shay Mitchell and her giveback campaign that will raise money for artisan training.
100% of the profits from each Shay bracelet sold will go toward a multi-day training program for Songa Designs’ artisans. The week will begin with what is called train the trainers. Songa will first gather all the highly skilled master weavers in the city of Kigali to show them new designs and weaving techniques, where they practice making a prototype. Once these women have mastered the new designs, these master weavers will travel to their respective cooperatives located all over the country and in turn, train the rest of the women on how to expand their skill sets with the new designs. Training is a way to empower the women and help the artisans reach new goals for themselves, such as creating their own original designs like Songa’s banana leaf master weaver, Jacqueline who proudly showcased her own original design, the Jacqueline handbag.
All profits raised from this giveback campaign will go toward crucial production and design training for the women as they continually improve their craft and their lives.