Below you can find answers to common questions about our MicroEnterprise Program.
Chikumbuso purchases items directly from our participants as they are produced to our quality standards, taking away the burden of holding stock until it sells and carrying that burden for them. This allows them to get paid when their work is done. Every artist gives back 15% of their income to the project from all their sales. This is used for paying the salary of one teacher, the community bank salaries and several other small utility costs. The artists are also required to save a portion of their income in the community bank; they receive their savings at the end of each month. This is an incredibly powerful tool and allows them to have a bulk amount at the end of every month to pay for rent and staples for the month. Setting aside money in families where the needs are so overwhelming is extremely difficult and we are very happy to be able to offer this service to our artists.
The community bank is managed by four widows who have been to financial training classes and has oversight by the director and president of Chikumbuso.
The bags that Chikumbuso purchases are sold in Zambia and around the world. The proceeds from our product sales come back to the project for our many outreach programs – educating children, building the capacity of our teams, and reaching out to our vulnerable elderly with direct support.
No. Product sales are a big part of funding our programs, about 30%. But our goals of educating some of Ng’ombe’s most vulnerable children and reaching out to helpless grandmothers are big goals that require more funding than what comes from our product sales. Chikumbuso’s unique approach of combining business with charity is making a real difference in Ng’ombe. Each and every one of our artists has a vested stake in the work we do through giving back. They are very proud of all they do in partnership with our amazing donors!
Depending on the artist, it can take up to one week.
95 on average.
We have collection baskets around Lusaka where people can recycle their used plastic grocery bags. However, due to the desire to help many women and make beautiful bags we also source our plastics from the factory itself. Materials like leather and chitenge are sourced locally.
Chikumbuso has been fortunate to have design volunteers that assist with new ideas from the fashion world. The ladies also draw inspiration from their lives. For example, Joyce makes a beautiful pattern inspired by her late husband’s sweater; Edina makes a pattern inspired by leaves.