Supplier Story: Covid-19 in Uganda
Rosemary Frank shares some insights into how Covid-19 is impacting the Afribeads artisans in Uganda.
The artisans who craft AfriBeads products are the foundation of everything Afribeads does, their welfare is always top of mind.
Uganda is one of the poorest countries in the world which makes them extra vulnerable with the Covid-19 outbreak. Our artisans, like us, are in lockdown. However, their one-room homes crowded together don’t allow for social distancing. They also don’t have running water so they need to go out every day to fetch water.
As most people in Uganda are employed casually most people now don’t have any income. All boda (motorbike taxis) and taxis have been stopped, adding thousands of people to the already huge unemployment numbers, with no means of support. The government is giving each household 3 kg of cornmeal and 3kg of dried beans (about 1 weeks food) however our women have not received this.
Thankfully our women mainly do their work from their own homes so they can continue making their beautiful crafts. This should give them the security of an income during this time of uncertainty. However, all shops are closed including the AfriBeads shop in Kampala.
Sending goods to Australia is also not possible at the moment. In addition, with retail being closed here in Australia orders are slow. This makes it difficult for me to continue to create a regular income for them. Nevertheless, I will be sending money over to them to help them survive during this difficult time.
If you would like to assist Afribeads, you can purchase some of their products online from The Fair Trade Mother's Day Shopping Guide.
Rosemary Frank, Owner of Afribeads and Executive Committee Member