Women's Shoe and Flower Vase Production
Project Launch: 7-18-19
Caring for Persons with Disabilities (CAPDI), a community based organization in Blantyre, Makawi, advocates for the rights of marginalised groups including persons with disabilities, women, children, and people living with HIV/AIDs. Through this World Connect grant, the organization will launch the Women’s Shoe and Flower Vase Production Project which is targeting 50 youth. 20 participants will be trained in shoe production and leather making from animal skins while the other 30 participants will be trained in designing and production of modern flower vases. A previous World Connect grant funded shoe making workshops for vulnerable populations. This project is aimed at mechanizing shoe production to enhance durability and marketability.
Project Update: 11-6-19
The community organization, Caring for Persons with Disabilities (CAPDI), is training 30 young people (24 girls and 6 boys) in shoe and flower vases production. All the 30 trainees are already showing capacity to produce marketable shoes and flower vases as evidenced by the sale of 56 flower vases out of 85 produced in the last two months of training. Additionally, 150 pairs of shoes have been produced, 30 pairs have been distributed to trainees as part of market test and also as a token of motivation while 62 pairs were sold. Money from the sales contributed to the procurement of additional materials for the continuation of the training. The major activity remaining is the procurement of heavy duty shoe machine which required special order from Singer Company. This group is transitioning to a cooperative in November with potential distribution partnerships with African Habitat and Jacaranda Arts shops already established. The project is poised to create employment for all 30 youth and others who will be working as sales agents.
Final Report: 5-12-20
The Women's Shoe and Flower Vase Production project, implemented by the Caring for Persons with Disabilities (CAPDI), has expanded its initial shoe production by incorporating flower vase production. During the project performance period, thirty people (24 women and 6 men) gained skills in shoe and flower vase production, demonstrated by the production of 213 pairs of shoes and 123 flower vases/pulpits valued at $3,360. Out of these, the group has through its established markets with Africa Habitat, Jacaranda Arts and other outlets throughout the country gained momentum and sold 107 pairs of shoes and 90 flower vases generating $2,224 income with 60% reinvested and 40% shared equally among participants. To date, nine people have established their own businesses, seven are operating as individual artisans, and fourteen have joined efforts to form a cooperative that is continuing with the shoe and flower vase production business as a group. Over 36 members have benefited from the project, empowering their families economically.
Febby Chirwa, one of the direct beneficiaries says, “In the past, I didn't think one day would become designer and producer of shoes and flower vases despite my high ambition of venturing into entrepreneurship. I am finally and absolutely proud to not only be a designer but also to have skills that are marketable. It is my belief that with these skills, my future looks bright. I will employ myself and create employment for others as well.”