SEW (Supporting + Empowering Women) produces fair trade conference accessories, including bags and document wallets.
We are a social enterprise and registered Australian charity, working in partnership 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.
President | Jessie Smith
Vice-President (Acting)| Linda Le
Secretary | Paulina Kruminaite
Treasurer | Jordan Nankervis
General committee | Hope Williams, Linda Le, Caera McGill, Sabrina Berardinell
Digital | Janelle Tang
Marketing|Margarita Vasilopoulos, Camille Taylor
Consultants | Muthoni Maina, Nicki Lees
Pro bono legal support | Laura Murphy, Maddocks Lawyers
We partner with 7 women. They are assisted by project manager, Nayeku Sabore.
Asanati was born in 1969 and has three children. Despite living with a chronic illness, Asanati’s outlook is bright. Her work with SEW enables her to feel a sense of independence and strength through her small business. She bought her own home with the income generated from the project.
Hadija was born in 1974 and she the single mother of her three children. In 2006, Hadija was diagnosed with HIV, however, she has not let this prevent her from pursuing her deep-rooted interest in small business. Prior to SEW she was a vendor of second-hand children’s clothes.
Halima was born in 1981. She is the mother of two children and is the family’s sole breadwinner. In spite of her HIV diagnosis, Halima is optimistic that her work with SEW will help her achieve financial stability and she has high hopes for her family’s future.
Jasinta was born in 1968 and has four children. Before her husband's death, Jasinta and her partner ran a local gemstone business. Although this business became too difficult for her to run alone, Jasinta has not abandoned her passion for work. Jasinta is grateful that SEW 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 and she thoroughly enjoys the role she plays in shaping the direction of the business.
Albina was born in 1976 and is an active part of the community despite being diagnosed with her immunological disorder in 1999. She has volunteered extensively within her local community, with a focus on home-based care for those living with the virus. Albina is proud to be part of a network of social entrepreneurs as it enables her to pay her rent and take care of her family.
SEW has recently mourned the passing of Happy N. Happy was born in 1965 and had two children and three grandchildren. Happy was heavily involved in the NGO community in Arusha and derived a lot of enjoyment from her work with SEW and other community groups. Happy had been with us since 2010 and was extremely energetic, cheerful and warm. We will miss her greatly.