November 27, 2017
“I have been working with the men and women of Hehekpoe for the past 4 years. I have watched them raise their children, build 2 schools, a library, gather around a bonfire to tell stories with strong and beautiful life-lessons, and strive to bring more hope and opportunity to their community. This is the village I want to help, because they know how to help themselves.” ~Betsy Benoit
During my recent volunteer trip to Hehekpoe, the local women came to me and my friends, Sandy and her daughter Kristi, to ask us questions – how we saw them, their lives, their village, and what wisdom we had for them. The three of us had just as many question as they did, and it was a deep, touching, funny conversation. We were moved by the women’s desire to start their own business to get them through the Dry Season when their farms didn’t yield enough crops, and for when they got old and could no longer farm or make charcoal to sell at the market. They had collectively decided to start making batik fabric to sell in the markets – but they needed help to get it off the ground. They weren’t looking for a handout, just advice.
The three of us sat with 25 amazing women and discussed the project from every business and creative angle we could think of. When it was clear the batik center would not only support the women and their children, but also school and community projects, we were determined to help their dream become a reality. I told my mom about our experience and she also got involved. Between the four of us, we donated $5000 to purchase batiking materials and training from a local batik center that Adanu and one of our partner, NYU Stern School of Business, is involved with.
We are now fundraising for the remaining $11,600 to build the Sisterhood Batik Center structure, a place they can work out of the rain and off the dirt. The goal is to have the structure built by the time they are fully trained in early 2018.
I am asking for your help to empower the women, children and the community of Hehekpoe. Give the gift of a future they are accountable for –a social business enterprise that follows a proven model by NYU Stern School of Business at the Adanu village of Woadze Tsatoe.
Your donation to Friends of Adanu is tax deductible.Sisterhood Batik Center Flyer