Beyond jewelry making, a few of our artisans have begun to think outside the box and with the help of small business loans, have successfully started their own businesses. These include tree farming, ground nut production, a piggery, and a charcoal business. Eventually their businesses will reach the point when the women will be ready to graduate from Musana and run them full-time, thus creating more jobs in the community and opening up a spot for a new Musana artisan.
Through subsidizing medical costs, we make sure our artisans are able to seek quality treatment for themselves and their children when necessary. In addition to many smaller doctor visits, in 2016, subsidized costs supported significant medical procedures for artisans including: pregnancy complications, tubal pregnancy surgery, respiratory issues, and HIV support.
To lighten the burden of tuition and school fees, Musana maintains a school fees matching program. Artisans pay half of the required school fees for their children and we match that to make up the rest. In 2016, Musana sponsored 55 children: 17 in Nursery School, 25 in Primary School, and 13 in Secondary School. Additionally, three artisans sent their first child to university this year with financial help from Musana. Each of those students are the first members of their families to attend college.
One of Musana’s core initiatives is to provide educational opportunities for artisans in literacy, business, health, and values subjects. In 2016, Musana held over 100 educational training classes in each of those four target areas. Musana artisans also participated in health education training after which they participated in community outreach trainings to share health content with others.
Immaculate Babirye is one of the hard-working women who has directly benefitted from Musana’s curriculum efforts. Immaculate was only able to attend three years of elementary-age schooling because her parents were not able to afford school fees. When Immaculate became an employee at Musana, she did not know how to read or write. When asked about the impact on her life from Musana’s educational programs, Immaculate replied: “The literacy classes have helped me to learn how to write and to read the letters of the alphabet. I can write simple words using vowels and consonants, and I can also read a sentence of the same. I have improved on communication skills with my children as they help me with my assignments.
As my desire to learn grows despite my age, I love helping the other women who are struggling with these classes. These trainings have also helped me in my role as a supervisor. I can write and read simple instructions for quality control and record daily production numbers for the women after work. This year my goal is to learn how to write a short story and to hold simple conversations in English.”
Preliminary plans were drawn up for the Musana campus which will include a new workshop, smoothie shop tourist center, and education center. Construction is expected to begin in January 2017.
Musana is excited to support children with disabilities and has begun planning for the Ashlaf Ability Center which will include a private therapy room and equipment for children with disabilities to receive occupational, physical, and cognitive therapies. A benefit concert was held in Washington to fundraise for the Ashlaf Ability Center. The concert raised $20,000 and will be the center’s main source of funding. The center will be part of the new campus construction expected to be completed in 2017.
Lugazi Town Council Rain International
Representatives for People with Disabilities Sorensen Legacy Foundation
Uganda Christian University Brigham Young University
Melissa Sevy, Executive Director Tina Kyambadde, Manager
Linden Baker, Operations Director Rachel Alupo, Assistant Manager
Madiina Nagawa, Shift Manager
Immaculate Babirye, Shift Manager
Aaron Miller Linden Baker
Attorney / Professor, BYU Operations Director, Musana International
Executive Director, Musana International
Dani Shurtleff Kristen Wade
Leslie Kawai Mindy Jensen
Jewelry Sales $52,954 Artisan Salaries $21,861
Grants $19,795 Artisan Programs $28,052
Donations $29,460 Management & General $50,089
TOTAL $102,209 TOTAL $100,002