Nala is a program that combats poverty and oppression by teaching women to sew and paying them a fair wage for their work while raising awareness about gender inequality.
Nala is designed as a long-term, sustainable solution to elevate the status of women through enterprise. Our program provides a living wage to women in East Africa and St. Louis, Mo who have lived in abject poverty and have experienced things such as forced labor, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), forced marriage, and gender inequality. We work across religious and cultural divides, amongst women who desire to be an agent of hope and peace in the communities in which they live. Our sewing rooms provide beginner, and intermediate training programs while advancing women to paid positions when they complete their training.
The word Nala stands for "us" in the Somali language. We chose this name to represent our feeling that the struggle of a girl or woman in East Africa is also our struggle. We believe that injustice has a rippling effect on our world, and it is our call to fight for our sisters who are not considered equal to men and lack the opportunities that most Western women enjoy.
Our vision is to empower refugee and immigrant women through sewing, design and fashion education and to provide a fair wage for 100 women in East Africa and St. Louis MO. These women will be agents of change in the communities in which they live.
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