Based in Uganda, Wells of Hope Women Association is a community-based nonprofit organization working with 25 to 50 artisans, the majority of whom are women and women in leadership positions. The name Wells of Hope refers to flowing wells of water that bring hope to women who have experienced vulnerable circumstances.

Artisans working with Wells of Hope have access to personal development programs, such as empowerment, communication, health and wellness, and literacy programs, and professional development programs covering business, finance, and technique workshops.

The talented artisans preserve and honor hand-looming and weaving techniques that are unique to the area and have been passed down through generations. Originally through this technique, people would weave with sticks and yarns from trees. Now, artisans have access to more modern looms. To start, they first use natural resources to extract fiber or hand-spin. The banana fiber is extracted from the banana stem, which was previously discarded after the fruit was packed. Now, it is transformed into beautiful pieces that are made to last. An extractor is used to leave the thread for use. The group sources materials primarily from local farms, gardens, and forests. After the fiber is extracted, artisans design, warp, beam, thread, dent, tie on and tie up, weave, and finish the product through looping, tailoring, or stitching. Typically, four artisans will work together to create each piece.

Furthermore, the woven wraps and patterns carry a ceremonial meaning. The plain weave is a sign of a strong bond and unity; through this weave, the threads individually interlace with one another. This beautiful design translates to people overcoming obstacles and coming together in strength.

Are you interested in learning more about this group and their product offering? Please email us at hello@thelittlemarket.com for details and contact information.