Feature: Zambian women handicraft traders empowering single mothers

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LUSAKA, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) — For Nellie Mwansa, 37, a resident of Lusaka, Zambia’s capital, trading in handicraft has been a way of life.

After years of earning a living from selling handmade goods, Mwansa who specializes in making handmade jewelry and custom-made traditional attire decided to help other single mothers like her to use their talents to support their families.

“My friend and I decided to come up with a group of women handicraft traders in order to empower other single mothers with skills to make and market handmade products,” she said.

Mwansa explained that most single mothers are breadwinners and that enhancing the skills of the said mothers to enable them to earn a living and provide for their children’s needs is one sure way of averting poverty in homes.

“Single mothers have challenges making ends meet. This can be seen from the way they struggle to take children to school or have access to food and shelter,” she said.

Mwansa revealed that the group, which started about four years ago, now consists of eight members, all of whom are single parents involved in handicraft businesses.

“The idea to mentor and train single mothers in various handicrafts so that they can fully utilize opportunities available in the crafts industry and better themselves and their respective communities,” she added.

Mwansa also revealed that the group has also managed to secure a good trading place at one of the shopping malls in Lusaka for its members to be able to display and sell their merchandise.

And her colleague Masiliso Masiliso noted that trading in handicrafts is helping a lot of single mothers to provide for their families.

“It is from this that many of us are able to take our children to school and ensure that our families have food and shelter,” said the 45-year-old Masiliso who specializes in handmade footwear and handbags.

She further pointed out that being part of the group of single mothers, involving in handicrafts has helped her to improve her skills as a trader in handicrafts. Enditem