April 26, 2012

The heart is always right!

" 'Women hold up half the sky,' in the words of a Chinese saying, yet that’s mostly an aspiration: in a large slice of the world, girls are uneducated and women marginalized, and it’s not an accident that those same countries are disproportionately mired in poverty and riven by fundamentalism and chaos...focusing on women and girls is the most effective way to fight global poverty and extremism. The world is awakening to a powerful truth: Women and girls aren’t the problem; they’re the solution." -NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF

Sometimes the solutions are so simple and sitting right behind us but somehow it just takes ages to realize! Luckily, for Liz, the calling came soon after graduation though in the form of a disguise. This is another story of a person who followed the heart and did what felt right and not what was right in the eyes of society. Having had a degree in journalism and communications, she initially set off to support a youth organisation in Uganda with their communications, donor relations and newsletter needs. During her stay in Uganda, Liz came across a community called 'Cornerstone'. She found a group of incredibly dedicated and committed women in this community who were struggling to find work in order to finance their education. The commitment of these women towards education, love for each other, for reconciliation and the passion to lead their country impressed Liz tremendously! And just like that 'Sseko' was born.

How could they work and study at the same time? Well, the Ugandan school system is designed with a nine month gap between secondary school and university. These nine months are intended to allow time for students to earn money for tuition before continuing on to university. However, in an impoverished and male dominated society, many of these young women struggle to find fair work during this time.
Sseko Designs hires recent secondary school graduates for this nine month period to live and work together, while earning money that will go directly towards their university education. These women will not make sandals forever. They will go on to be doctors, lawyers, politicians, writers and teachers that will bring change and unification to a country divided and ravished by a 22 year-long war.

Oh! And by the way, the shoes are stylish, classy and can be worn in 30 different ways! Above all, each shoe has its own story, stories of these incredible women who once made shoes but are now leaders in their own fields! How amazing is that!?

To give free money or free shoes is great but not a long term solution, it's just a temporary relief. Sseko model is an inspiration for people looking to find a permanent solutions!


Ambika said...

This is so so inspiring! And lovely idea of the shoes, they're simply cheery! Thanks for sharing

The Green Elephant said...

Am glad you like the post Ambika! :)

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