Meet the female basket weavers from Ghana
In 2017, Dorcas Apoore founded Advocacy for Social Inclusion and Girls Education (ASIGE), a non-governmental organization with the vision of creating skills-based training centers and sustainable livelihood empowerment initiatives for women and young people in Ghana. Her organization has now reached 429+ women in 6 different communities in Ghana through a range of initiatives such as providing sexual health education, sanitary products, and sustainable vocational training.
“Investing in women and girls is one of the surest ways to reach our sustainable development goals. When women are equipped with technical skills they can rise above the poverty lines in Ghana and in Africa as a whole.”
⁓ Dorcas, Founder
Woven within these bags are generations of knowledge, technique, and cultural exchanges. These richly coloured baskets involve an intricate weaving process that takes up to 10 days to complete and involves many steps - from collecting, preparing and colouring the straw to weaving and careful finishing. The bags embody the empowering collective of female artisans that work with us through ASIGE. When we asked Dorcas about the story and meaning behind the baskets, she told us how each basket holds unique patterns, techniques, and colours to tell different stories. One of her favourites, the Sandra basket, is named after the community leader who designed a basket pattern with parallel “roots”. They call the shapes of the baskets “roots” to represent the path that someone follows in life. Dorcas also told us of the natural dying process, in which millet leaves are ground into powder to boil the veta vera and produce rich colours. She especially loves baskets with red because it symbolizes love. With the ASIGE women, we have co-created the “Dorcas” market bag and crossbody bag as we want to platform Dorcas’s powerful initiative and the love she and her community put into each woven story.