At Gone Rural, over 750 rural Swazi women earn a living by weaving highly intricate baskets, bowls, and placemats. In Swaziland, rural families suffer from illiteracy, high rates of HIV/AIDS, and extreme poverty. Men often travel to South Africa to find work, leaving women responsible to care for an average of eight children, elders, or other dependents. Women are legally barred from owning land, and therefore cannot generate sustainable incomes from agricultural work. Gone Rural provides skill training so that artisans’ products can compete in a global market. The organization also brings healthcare services (including HIV testing and counseling), clean water, and human rights and literacy education to rural women through the non-profit organization, boMake.
Zodwa Ngcamphalala: Zodwa lives in the drought-stricken Tibane area of southeastern Swaziland. Her husband works in South Africa and can only visit home three or four times a year. The income she earns from making baskets for Gone Rural helps her send her two children to school and supplement her family's diet with more nutritional foods.