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Foundation for the Realization of Economic Empowerment began in 2011 with a training center for sewing in one of Lusaka, Zambia’s peri-urban communities. After a year, 25 women graduated and began their own enterprise. They continually struggled to pay the rent on their tiny shop, let alone make an income to take home. Jewellery looked like a decidedly more lucrative option for economically empowering women so with How To books in one hand and a pair of pliers in the other they began teaching another group of women in Ng’ombe Compound how to create jewellery from copper wire.
Zambia is one of the world’s largest producers of copper but with little local manufacturing. Those early days were a real struggle and the initial group of women all left, without having made a single marketable piece after four months! When they thought the dream would die, two young women arrived and within a week were making sale-able pieces.
Currently a group of 10 young women now manufacture jewellery from their premises in Ng’ombe Compound. They’ve learned how to solder, to etch, to enamel, to string beads, to rivet, to fold form, and a myriad of other skills.