SUPPORTING THE UNDER-SERVED
Women’s Initiative Gambia helps financially poor women in The Gambia to improve their skills and income so as to raise the standard of living of their families and their communities.
Projects coordinated with rural women’s groups amplify women’s voices in their own development, as they are trained in income-generating, leadership and decision-making skills.
Women’s Initiative Gambia (WIG) began as a small, environmental enterprise. Isatou Ceesay and collaborators began recycling discarded plastic bags through crochet, taking trash and turning it into useful products, such as ladies’ bags, purses, balls, and wallets. As the endeavor grew more successful, they formed local women groups and trained the groups on processing waste plastic into long stripes which could then be woven into useful products. The women were able to sell these products, bringing in much-needed money, and at the same time helping reduce plastic waste in their community.
The initiative has since grown beyond plastic recycling to include other areas of recycling—such as briquette production from discarded groundnut and coconut shells and bag production from used rice bags—as well as teaching entrepreneurial skills and empowerment to women, youth and disabled groups. Today, hundreds of women, youth and disabled groups across the country are benefiting from WIG.