When I met first Siena Anstis this summer at Cafe Pap in Kampala, I was a rock star. No really, she really thought I was a musician, Bobby Wine to be exact. Here, she tell’s it much better than I do. Besides sharing a love for photography and a lust for really expensive camera lenses, we also shared a passion for grassroots economic development projects.

Fast forward to last week when she launched the Women of Kireka web site. The blog is the end result of her encounter with 13 women in the Kireka stone quarry, just outside Kampala, Uganda.

The inhabitants of the Acholi quarter, and most of the women working at the quarry, fled the war in Northern Uganda 6-10 years ago. As a friend working for Refugee Law Project (RLP) pointed out, they are now living on the same salary as back home, $1 a day, except in a different surrounding alien to them. Most, if not all, used to be peasant farmers: toiling in fields of cassava and beans morning to evening. RLP calls them urban Internally Displaced Persons. 

Siena launched The Women of Kireka web site in partnership with Northern Uganda Women and Children Initiatives (NUWECHI) as an effort to get these women involved in a sustainable, income-generating business. The project has set a goal to raise US$23,000 to buy equipment for the women to start a sewing business so they can earn enough money to start a new way of life. Here’s how that money will be spent.

Project Diaspora would like to announce that we’ll be throwing our full support behind this initiative as it parallel’s our efforts to “engage and motive” the African Diaspora to take a greater collective role in as many development projects as possible. We invite the Ugandan Diaspora to offer their knowledge and financial support behind this project. Even donating $1 or an email or a word of support will go a long way in helping these women become economically independent. We’ll be posting regular updates on the efforts, as well as how much has been raised, how it’s spent, along with the results.


We’ve added a Paypal ‘Donate’ button to our sidebar. Feel free to donate as little of as much as you want. If you are already a Paypal member, simply send your donation to [ siena.anstis@gmail.com ].

The Point
You can also donate and lend your support for this initiative directly via The Point.

You can show your support for these women by joining the Facebook group, where we’ll be posting regular updates. Search for “Women of Kireka”, leave comments on Siena’s blog here, or contact her directly at siena.anstis@gmail.com.

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