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Sseko Designs uses fashion to create opportunity for women globally. We provide employment and scholarship opportunities to women in Uganda who are working to pursue their dreams and overcome poverty. To date, we've enabled 87 women to continue on to University! We also provide employment (along with access to a comprehensive social impact program) to our team of 50 women in Uganda. And we do it all through a financially self-sustaining model, one that also enables us to create opportunity for women in the U.S. to earn an income through the Sseko Fellows program.
Interested in learning more about what, why and how we do what we do? To learn more about the core issues and values of Sseko Designs, continue reading...
Ssseko Solution #1: Sseko Designs provides employment during the 9 month gap between high school and university where high potential young women are able to earn and save enough money to pay for college tuition. 50% of their salary each month goes into a savings account that is not accessible until tuition is due. This ensures that their income goes towards education. This also protects the women in our program from the social pressure they often feel from their families to give away the money the are earning which can perpetuate the cycle of poverty. At the end of each term, Sseko Designs grants university scholarships that match 100% of the savings each woman has made during her 9 month session with Sseko.
Solution #2: In addition to providing employment to women working their way towards university in Uganda, Sseko provides employment for women who have aged out of the education system and have no other form of income generation. We partner with a local non-profit in Uganda that works with young women who have recently come out of the commercial sex industry. Providing stable, dignifying and fair wage employment is a key component to keeping women from entering back into prostitution. We believe that every woman has the capacity to end the cycle of poverty and that it can be done in a way that is fair, dignifying, honoring and life-giving.
Solution #3: Instead of treating the symptoms, we aim to address the deeper, underlying issues of extreme poverty. Although Sseko Designs has been built for the purpose of impacting a specific social sector, we have chosen very intentionally to use a sustainable, self-sufficient business model to do this. Our hope is to help create industry and fair-trade with the belief that a large component of economic development lies in the business sector. We believe in the power of responsible consumerism. Instead of competing for limited donor dollars, we hope consumers think about the story behind their "stuff." If we considered the impact that each product we consume has on the lives of those who produced that product and chose to see consumerism as a force and opportunity for positive social change, we believe the world would be filled with beautiful products with even more beautiful stories.
Solution #4: Through the Sseko Fellows Program, we are inspiring and equipping women right here in the U.S. to earn an income by selling Sseko! We began wondering how much more meaningful our impact in Uganda and connection between consumers and producers could be with the right people sharing the Sseko Story. That’s why we launched the Sseko Fellows Program. Sseko Fellows are a community of women who are taking giant leaps and small steps towards using their talents to start and grow their own social enterprises! Through their Sseko businesses, they are able to create opportunity for themselves and their families AND their sisters in East Africa. We call that a WIN WIN WIN.
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