My name is Onyait Odeke. I am a Ugandan documentary photographer and entrepreneur. I first met Shanley in 2011 via Twitter where we shared with each other what we do and why we did the things we do. A couple of tweets and Skype calls later, I bought into her vision about working with women in Uganda.
I tell so many stories, as a documentary photographer. But one I always love to tell is a story of women empowered, not only economically, but also socially and otherwise yet with their dignity still intact. This is what I watched Shanley begin to do. I’ve seen how utilizing women’s skills, hard work and passion to help them earn a fair and regular wage can enable them take care of their loved ones.
As I have spent time visually documenting Shanley’s work, I’ve seen the dire need of many of the women she hires. Most of them are working multiple jobs to make ends meet, while single-handedly supporting families bigger than they can handle. The financial burden on them is huge: food, tuition fees, medical care. They typically have very little and sometimes no viable income source. Unlike many other social entrepreneurs, Shanley is a firm believer that business and not aid is the correct way to fight poverty. Her work in Uganda has given her first hand experience on what works and what doesn’t.
Shanley is now setting up a manufacturing plant in Uganda where she will partner with 40 women to provide regular and fair wages amongst other benefits. She needs your help to do this. She’s crowd funded $1800 dollars so far, and needs $700 more join her in making the first steps toward this facility a reality.
We have a few more days to go. Please, take a minute and DONATE NOW to be a part of this beautiful venture.
This is a story that I want to tell.