BADAWEYA Women's Handicraft Initiative

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BADAWEYA Women's Handicraft Initiative

Nuweiba and surrounding, EgyptTarabeen, Nuweiba, Egypt
Year Founded:
2011
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
Growth
Budget: 
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

BADAWEYA empowers female Bedouin handicraft producers to build up their own business. We support the women in developing their products, train them in business skills and link them to suitable sales markets. We combine women's empowerment, community development and preservation of tradition.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if Bedouin women in Sinai could be empowered to be entrepreneurs selling handicrafts grounded in their traditions?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Climatic changes in Sinai forced Bedouin tribes to become settlers. The new lifestyle is characterized by unemployment (~95%), poverty, illiteracy (~70%) and changes of roles. While being nomads the Bedouin women substantially contributed to the families’ economic situation by herding the livestock and producing food. Nowadays they are left with few economic and personal opportunities, younger women are restricted to stay within their houses.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Bedouin women produce beautiful traditional handicrafts at home. The quality does, however, not match standards of growing handicraft markets in Egypt/MENA/Europe. BADAWEYA draws on this point and empowers the women to successfully market their products. It also promotes the women's personal development and strengthens their role in society. Our program: Explore markets in Egypt&abroad - Assess training needs – Hold trainings in professional sewing/design/marketing/business skills – Hold classes on health/literacy/education – Promote the development of competitive products grounded in traditions and tailored to market demands - Link women to distributors and networks in Egypt&abroad - Support participants to run their own businesses
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Meet Amira (21 y.) and Selma (40 y.). The women have participated in BADAWEYA’s trainings which have improved their understanding of sewing, quality management, product design and business management. Together with the trainers, their group developed 3 new products and designs inspired by old traditions and modern principles of product design. In the future: Together with others Amira and Selma will start a small cooperative venture in 2015. The venture will sell to a hotel chain, two shops in Cairo, a German trade chain and over the internet. They will hand out orders to 200 Bedouin women who will earn $160/month (average worker's salary). Being important information sources and breadwinners, the women are heard in family decisions.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

BADAWEYA aims at women’s financial empowerment and capacity building in the community, not charity but market driven. Up to date, 40 women of the Tarabeen tribe participated in bi-monthly trainings on design and sewing, resulting in improved workmanship of products and in the development of three new product lines. Five participants started home working groups in order to train other women and two of them established self-organized literacy classes. Sessions on health awareness are held three times a week with five to seven participants each time. Contacts to similar initiatives, designers and stores in Cairo are being established. Another 400 women of the community want to participate in the future. Approximately 1,500 persons (family members) could benefit from BADAWEYA’s program. At the same time the wealth of the Bedouin’s cultural heritage is valued, preserved and revived.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

BADAWEYA is supported by volunteers and personal loans. A German donor (GIZ) funded trainings and is offering organizational counseling. A reliable funding for the next year is necessary as a seed funding, in order to pay trainers, purchase training materials and rent a location for trainings. As the initiative aims at creating self-reliant sustainable small cooperative ventures that generate income, subsequent funding will not be necessary.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

In the project area there are no programs that combine income generation with capacity building. Initiatives such as FanSina, Bashayer, Yadawee, A.P.E and Akhmim textiles target different populations and/or sell different items. They are possible partners in knowledge exchange and lobbying. BADAWEYA will come up with well-crafted products that uniquely reflect the Sinai. Distributors are in Cairo, at touristic locations, the internet and retailers abroad, all catering to social conscious or well-educated customers who look for high-end products that convey identity or history.
Team

Founding Story

In 2011 the idea of BADAWEYA was developed by Bedouin women of Tarabeen village together with Hemaya NGO, when reflecting on how to improve the overall situation. In the beginning volunteers organized a meeting place and some activities (training/sports/social activities) wanted by the women. In 2013 the initiative evolved through the connection to an employment program of a German donor (GIZ). GIZ and BADAWEYA agreed then on launching a 9 month pilot that included market research, regular professional trainings and a variety of educational and community activities. The aim of the pilot was to assess which kind of project is possible and how it will be received by the community. The outcome has been very positive so far (see impact).
About You
Organization:
Badaweya Women's Handicraft Initiative
About You
First Name

Anja

Last Name

Breddin

About Your Organization
Organization Name

Badaweya Women's Handicraft Initiative

Organization Country

, JNS, Tarabeen, Nuweiba

Country where this project is creating social impact

, JNS, Nuweiba and surrounding

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Project
Year founded

2011

Impact
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date?

BADAWEYA aims at women’s financial empowerment and capacity building in the community.
Up to date, 40 women of the Tarabeen tribe have participated in bi-monthly trainings on design and sewing, resulting in improved workmanship of products and in the development of three new product lines. Five participants started home working groups in order to train other women and two of them established self-organized literacy classes. Sessions on health awareness are held three times a week with five to seven participants each time. Contacts to similar initiatives, designers and stores in Cairo are being established.
Another 400 women of the community want to participate in the future. Approximately 1,500 persons (family members) could benefit from BADAWEYA’s program. At the same time the wealth of the Bedouin’s cultural heritage is valued, preserved and revived.

Barriers: What barriers might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

Possible barriers:
1. Resentments held by male family members
2. The women do not trust themselves to manage a start-up
3. The start-ups face challenges (financial/organizational/sales decline)
(1)BADAWEYA involves the husbands and brothers in activities and seeks good relationships with tribal leaders. (2)We especially train women who are interested in taking over leadership roles. (3)We link the women to a variety of markets and suppliers, train them to include market feedback in their product design and ensure ongoing business consulting through professionals in the handicraft networks.

Full Impact Potential: What are the main spread strategies moving forward? (Please consider geographic spread, policy reform, and independent replication/adoption of the idea or other mechanisms.)

BADAWEYA holds a great potential to serve as a model on how to successfully establish employment initiatives with a community development focus. It demonstrates how problems of marginalized communities can be addressed in a way that is not mainly charity but rather market-driven.
The approach can be spread over NGO and handicraft networks to be adopted by neighbouring Bedouin tribes (e.g.Muzeina, Hayuat), traditional communities in Egypt with a similar structure (e.g. in Siwa, in upper egypt) and in neighbouring countries that are facing similar challenges (e.g. Jordan). BADAWEYA tackles the most eye-catching problem but also takes the person as a whole, underlying causes, community dynamics and traditions into consideration.

Sustainability
Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

BADAWEYA was supported by volunteers and personal loans. In 2013 a German donor has funded trainings and is offering organizational counseling.
A seed funding for the next year is necessary to expand the project and to pay trainers&staff/purchase training materials/rent a location for trainings. As the initiative aims at creating self-reliant sustainable small cooperative ventures that generate income, subsequent funding will not be necessary.

Founding Story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder to get started and/or to see the potential for this to succeed.

In 2011 the idea of BADAWEYA was developed by Bedouin women of Tarabeen village together with Hemaya NGO, when reflecting on how to improve the overall situation. In the beginning volunteers organized a meeting place and some activities (training/sports/social activities) wanted by the women.
In 2013 the initiative evolved through the connection to an employment program of a German donor (GIZ). GIZ and BADAWEYA agreed then on launching a 9 month pilot that included market research, regular professional trainings and a variety of educational and community activities. The aim of the pilot was to assess which kind of project is possible and how it will be received by the community. The outcome has been very positive so far (see impact).

Partnerships: Tell us about your partnerships.

- Hemaya (a NGO in Southern Sinai with focus on environmental protection and social development)
- EconoWin (GIZ program for the economic integration of women in the MENA region, funded by the German ministry of development cooperation)
- Ice Cairo (a hub for sustainable business development)
Connections to networks and players in Cairo, such as Al Rowad professional network, Fair trade Egypt and Eyady Masreyya are on the way.

Women Powering Work
Is your project targeted at solving any of the following challenges?

Training and education such as skills workshops, entrepreneurship courses, apprenticeship opportunities

Does your project utilize any of the strategies below?

Creating partnerships with complementary businesses that will help your beneficiaries have more impact - such as creating a daycare center that supports a businesses

Comments

Marzena Zukowska's picture

Hello Anja,

I think your initiative is fantastic, and you have laid out the model in a clear and concise way. I have a few follow-up questions that we're hoping to incorporate in a story:

1. Could you offer some examples of the types of handicrafts your women entrepreneurs produce?
2. Could you speak more to the context of climate change? It's a very interesting angle, and I would love to know more about how it's affecting the women and families in the region.
3. What is the strongest piece of advice you could offer other women social innovators working in this space?

Thank you!
Marzena

Lead Media Manager
Ashoka Changemakers

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