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Basket Weaving Cooperative

baskets-2.jpgOJOBA WOMEN'S WEAVING COOPERATIVE

Ojoba Collective helped start a weaving cooperative in northern Ghana in 2003 as a way of assisting the most vulnerable segment of society; rural women and their children. In the beginning we started with a handful of weavers, and today we work with over 100!

All of the women we work with are Fra-Fra people, a local ethnic group which is still very traditional and practices polygamy. Most of the women are illiterate and lack basic education; therefore there are few opportunities for them to improve their lives.

Women have been weaving baskets in this region since time immemorial, and selling them on the local market as a way to supplement their subsistence lifestyle. Unfortunately, since this is a very impoverished section of the world, those who buy on the local market are also quite poor, and baskets-1.jpgcan not afford to pay a fair price for the amount of time and materials that goes into these beautiful baskets. Recently, these baskets have become very sought-after worldwide, creating an international market.

Unfortunately, rather than aiding and empowering the village women who weave these baskets, this has created an opportunity for educated middlemen from the cities to arrive on the scene and, in a haste to make profits, force the women to sell their baskets at an even lower price than the regular market price. This creates a poverty trap where the women work even harder and earn less money, often unable to properly feed, clothe, and educate their children.

That is why it is so important to buy a fair trade basket. This is the only way to ensure that the local women are paid a fair price for their skill and hard work.

Click here to shop for baskets!

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