Hello! I am Aline, full of passion for fashion and female equality!
I run The HappyNes leathercraft workshop in Kigali, Rwanda.
Our vision is a decent life for every woman!
Image Source: UN Women 2021
According to the Global Gender Gap Index, Rwanda is surprisingly ranked 6th among countries that focus on women's rights and equality. However, it still faces challenges with sexual and gender-based violence. UN Women reports that 41.5% of Rwandan women experience sexual and gender-based violence during their lives. Additionally, UNICEF mentioned that 50% of girls under 19 in Rwanda suffer from violence or sexual abuse by family members, relatives, teachers, or friends.
In these situations, the number of 'single moms' who become pregnant unintentionally and raise their children without husbands is increasing. They have many difficulties and are excluded from society. Recently, I met 35 women from the western part of Rwanda, and they all had very sad stories. Most of them had two or more children, usually around the age of three, needing a lot of care. They were in painful situations of having pregnancies they didn't want due to rape or alcohol addiction, and they had to raise their children alone. They spent a lot of time asking for food on the streets, and on days when they didn't get enough, they went without food and were very hungry.
My story goes back to my school days. I always had an interest in addressing gender inequality and poverty issues at school. However, when I left school and entered society, I realized that there was no system to support women's economic independence and overcome gender inequality.
Despite Rwanda having a good Gender Gap Index score, violence against women still exists. Single moms, in particular, face difficult circumstances. Their options for jobs are limited due to the need to care for their children, and their wages are generally low. Finding employment to increase income and achieve economic independence is crucial for them. That's why in 2018, driven by a passion for women's equality and fashion, 'The HappyNes' embarked on a leather craft startup.
The HappyNes aims to pursue a happier and more independent life with vulnerable women like single moms. We produce various leather products such as bags, shoes, wallets, phone accessories, and other items customers demand. You can find these wonderful products in local markets and online shops.
I chose leather craft as my business idea because of my personal passion and belief. I have a strong passion for creating unique fashion products, and I truly believe that many people will genuinely appreciate my fashion sense. Additionally, I decided to use leather to create products that are not only professionally appealing but also casually fitting. Furthermore, leather crafting is one of the skills that women can easily learn. Even without becoming an expert, they can create imaginative and extraordinary products
Our Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are getting rid of inequality and poverty, and providing good training. We believe that all women are important. That’s why we offer leather craft training to help single moms find jobs and become financially independent.
The training is split into basic and advanced courses, each lasting three months. If graduates of the basic training are interested and technically ready, they can take the advanced course, which includes practical tasks. Those who complete the advanced training and wish to work can join our team.
We help not only single moms but also vulnerable women from rural areas or those dealing with husband’s alcohol issues. Our dream is to help more women achieve their dreams and live a happy and independent life.
We are constantly striving to achieve these values and goals. We operate The HappyNes to help women live happier and more independent lives and lead social change. We hope that our small efforts can bring significant changes and hope to women. We look forward to working together to create a happy and supportive society for everyone.
Due to COVID-19, the small business The HappyNes is facing significant challenges. Currently, sales have decreased by about 70% compared to before COVID-19. As a result, The HappyNes lacks funds for training programs for single moms and vulnerable women. Additionally, there is a shortage of funds to maintain inventory and produce and sell products.
In this situation, your valuable donations will be a great help. We plan to purchase industrial sewing machines and premium-quality leather and materials to efficiently produce more products. This will not only enable us to create a wider variety of high-quality products, but also allocate donations to educational sewing machines and leather materials for single mothers and vulnerable women. We hope to provide hope and opportunities to many women, helping them lead independent lives.
"Your generous impact donations will play a significant role in helping The HappyNes overcome this crisis and supporting our sustainable growth."
"Come together with us to bring more light to the lives of single moms and vulnerable women, and let's create positive changes alongside The HappyNes!"
For The Tomorrow’s Stars of Rwanda,
The Single Moms and Vulnerable Women,
Please help us spread The Wings of The HappyNes through The Impact Donations!