Empowerment Through Crafts: A Shelter Community-Based Program by SMUG
On 20th January 2022, Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) in partnership with the British High Commission jointly hosted their first economic development class with the community members of their shelter homes.
The purpose of the event is to have the LGBTIQ community members participate in economic empowerment activities, to learn and improve on their crafts developed during the COVID lockdown period of 2020 that saw the community shelters incorporate crafts as income generating activities.
The facilitators focused on two things- shoe craft making sessions and the digital art of marketing products.
Jumping right into the shoe craft making sessions, participants were taught how to carefully examine the products while putting emphasis on quality. The session lead was Ale Ndeni empowerment initiative, with Darius Maurice Okello in cofacilitation, with Isabel Abol.
“The idea of the training is to gain recognition. This has been difficult due to issues like branding, packaging and quality. The initiative to help move the products to the limelight. The aim of today’s training will be to look at the small details that people skip out on.
For instance, stitching in a straight line, having the right material that can make a product durable. Basically, improving on the little details that make your product stand-out” Isabel Abol, Ale Ndeni empowerment initiative.
The afternoon session kicked off with a digital marketing session led by Bana Mwesige, a freelance digital marketing guru. This session focus was tools, platforms, and benefits of digital marketing with a focus on social media marketing as the main platform.
Looking at using platforms like Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, Canva and Dribble and engaging online markets, cost implications on digital marketing, alongside the nitty gritty details on digital marketing while relating it to the new skill of craft shoe making.