SEW (Supporting + Empowering Women) produces fair trade conference accessories, including bags and document wallets.
We are a social enterprise, working in parternship with HIV+ women. We seek to erode discrimination in the workforce. To that end, we demonstrate the resilience, capability and creativity of those living with the virus in Tanzania.
We cater for events of all sizes, offering a range of useful products to hold laptops, reading material and gifts.
Our products are hand-stitched from recycled plastic; we are committed to reducing waste from our collective habitat.
Our partners are paid a fair price for their labour and all profits are reinvested into the project.
SEW is comprised of two corporate structures.
The Australian arm is an incorporated association and registered charity with DGR tax status. It is governed by a volunteer committee of management, comprised of lawyers, accountants and management consultants. The committee of management is based across Melbourne, London and Cambridge University.
Co-convernors | Jessie Smith and Nicole Lees
Secretary | Paulina Kruminaite
Treasurer | Jordan Nankervis
General committee | Hope Williams, Linda Le
Digital | Janelle Tang
Pro bono legal support | Laura Murphy, Maddocks Lawyers
We partner with 7 women. They are assisted by project manager, Gladness Thompson.
Albina was born in 1976 and found out that she was HIV positive in 1999. She has volunteered extensively in the local community, with a focus on home-based care for those living with the virus. She is proud to be part of a network of social entrepreneurs. She can now pay her rent and take care of her family.
Asanati was born in 1969 and has 3 children. Following her husband's death, Asanati went for a medical check-up and found that she too is HIV positive. Asanati feels a sense of independence through her small business.
Hadija was born in 1974. She is the single mother of three children, following the death of her husband. She was diagnosed with HIV in 2006. Hadija has long had in interest in small business. Prior to SEW she was a vendor of second-hand children clothes.
Halima was born in 1981. She is the mother of two children and was diagnosed with HIV in 2006. She is the sole breadwinner for her family and hopes that social enterprise might achieve financial stability.
Happy N was born in 1965 and has 2 children. Happy found out that she was HIV positive in 1996. Happy is heavily involved in the NGO community in Arusha and derives a lot of enjoyment from her work with SEW and other community groups.
Jasinta was born in 1968 and has 4 children. Before her husband's death, Jasinta and her partner ran a local gemstone business. However, this soon became too difficult to run alone. Jascinta reflects that working in social enterprise gives her a sense of purpose and greater flexibility.
Happy W was born in 1976 and is widowed with three children. Her children are thriving and are pursuing post-secondary school education. Happy is a leader within the business cooperative. She enjoys the role she plays in shaping the direction of the business.