As part of our commitment to South African communities, we are pleased to continually engage in projects that are aligned with our social goals and values.

Meet Nancy Tweddle Foundation Director, Erika and her daughter Maricha, a duo based in Limpopo. Together they lead Kioni, a South African jewellery company that not only creates beautiful and unique bead designs, but that aims to empower women who have the desire to better their own lives as well as the lives of people around them.

Used to seeing the typical gender inequality in the communities where she lived, where men are usually employed and women stay at home taking care of their children; Erika decided to take some action and be the change for this group with fewer opportunities.

The project started with just some African antique beads and a group of women on a farm who were trained so that they could learn how to create bead jewellery. Giving this group the chance to have a job, a project to work on and to become an artisan; promotes their own development and independence, two things that they did not experience throughout their lives before.

‘We empower through training and job creation by giving people the opportunity to earn an income. Enabling women to work from home and raise their own children’, states Maricha.

Near to the agricultural hub of Limpopo, Kioni are currently working with three different groups of artisans: old age, a human trafficking NGO and women from a squatter camp.

Women are their main focus because “with them you not only have an impact on a person’s life, but on the life of an entire family, feeding children and grandparents”, says Erika.

Empowering women has the ability to not only change the person but their communities as well. Their contribution to the society is not only through these groups, but also through the work they do with the South African Limpopo government to lead training sessions for women related to ‘Entrepreneurship’ and ‘Project Development’.

We can all be part of this project and these groups by buying their crafts on their website HERE