So, what are the perks for our foundation’s loan recipients? Technical assistance and a cheerleading squad at every turn – like it or not!
Last week I wore the cheerleader hat and spoke at the Philadelphia Convention Center on behalf of Tosheka Designs, which continues to train and hire 400 women in Kenya to make purses out of recycled plastic bags, natural fibers, and/or leather. (Personally, I’m in vegan heaven with their gorgeous non-leather bags!)
In my talk, I stressed the green elements of Tosheka Designs and how it has launched the first – and tragically only – plastics recycling program in Kenya. Further, I highlighted its amazing job training, and the fact that the women it employees are free to make and design their own products, using their new skills from Tosheka, and sell those products wherever they wish. Tosheka offers livelihood — with wings.
One of the other speakers, Dr. Richard Shain, a professor of African History at Philadelphia University, opened his talk with the point that we hear only bad news of Africa. He sited how terrorists taking over a mall in Nairobi was front-page news while plenty of good news was going unreported. Tosheka Designs is indeed good news and one of many entrepreneurial endeavors bringing jobs and greening to Africa.
If you see any purses on Tosheka’s site that you’d like to purchase, let me know, and I will save one for you!
“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” Mahatma Gandhi