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Omba empowers rural communities

Basket weavers from the Okavango Region have exceptional artistic skills but lack the contacts or the knowledge to access marketing channels. The Omba Arts Trust enables rural artists, artisans, and craftsmen to send their products to shops and vendors favoured by collectors and by tourists.The Omba Arts Trust has been working with rural communities in most regions of the country to develop innovative crafts since 2004. Currently, more than 600 producers are supported through the marketing efforts of Omba, a member of the World Fair Trade Organisation.
Omba’s mission of supporting sustainable livelihoods of marginalized communities through craft development and marketing is in line with a growing worldwide trend towards social entrepreneurship. Social enterprises derive income from trade but reinvest in the fulfilment of their mission. Success is not measured by profit but by social impacts.
Omba has contributed over N$4 500 000 to rural crafts people in the past eight years and provided skills training to many producers.
“More than 95% of the producers we support are women, often single heads of households. Over 60% are San communities living either on resettlement farms or in conservancies in Omaheke, Otjozonjupa, Ohangwena and West Caprivi,” said Karin le Roux, director of Omba.
Omba partners rural and often very remote communities and places regular orders with these groups.
Omba is a member of the Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organisations (NACSO) and works in partnership with several non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Namibia who are working in rural development such as Desert Research Foundation of Namibia, (DRFN), Nyae Nyae Conservancy and Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation (IRDNC).

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