Bigodi Women’s Group is a group of very courageous women with really unique handcraft skills which was formed to majorly to help the women in the community. Bigodi women’s group consists of 40 female members, currently, who are assigned to carry on the women’s group projects like weaving.
From the religious conflicts together with the tribes in the area, sprung KAFRED (Kibale Association For Rural and Environmental Development), which flattened the ground for the establishment of Bigodi women’s group. After the school that was constructed on the church land closing, there emerged a religious- tribal wrangle over the land issues. It was KAFRED only that has been keeping the area free of such wrangles ever since.
KAFRED over time had a lot of male members’ registration so the founders of KAFRED saw a need to get the women involved in the development of the area and also the conservation of nature. In other words, this women’s group is supported by KAFRED. It also gave them land where they constructed an exhibition room for their crafts such as mats, necklaces, handbags, arm bags, earrings, and other crafts.
The women’s group consists of other women projects such as the Enyange dance and drama group, Kiyoima women’s group and Bigodi peanut butter group. They all work hand in hand to support their fellow women to improve the livelihoods of their families. The women make the crafts from raw materials got from Bigodi swamp. The women use palm leaves, reeds, swamp beads and other paper wasted to make the crafts.
The crafts made by Bigodi women’s group are sold to the tourists and others are exported to European countries like Germany. The artisanal goods are made with a lot of love for you and your friend and you can pass by the showroom and take a few African crafts back home as a souvenir. The profits got from the sales of the artisanal goods, is used to fund the community and also to pay the women artisans. 90% is for the women and 10% is for the development of the community in terms of infrastructural development, such as building schools, hospitals among others.
Benefits of bigodi women’s group
The women group has helped develop the community through funding infrastructure construction, for example, Bigodi women’s group funded the construction of Bigodi primary school and secondary school. The establishment of this women’s group has greatly helped the women of the community to get employed in order to support their families. The women get their raw materials from the swamp. This has promoted sensitization about the importance of natural resources hence leading to the conservation of nature.
In a synopsis, Bigodi women’s group has helped the community to learn a lot about the conservation of natural resources. The fact that women make good sales to the tourists, it helps to en-sight people about the importance of tourism in society. In return, it sensitizes the people about the dangers of poaching and encroachment on Kibale national parks land.