Moulding a Better Future

This is a situation many women in Ethiopia and East Africa find themselves in. In fact, almost 30% of households are female-headed – having lost partners, fathers, and male relatives to the lure of urban migration, conflict, or illness. Thankfully, Burtikan’s story has a happy ending.

Ten years ago, Burtikan became the first member of Vita’s pottery co-operative outside Arba Minch. Vita established this all-female co-op with the exact objective of ensuring women just like Burtikan could have a space to earn a sustainable income and begin to mould their own independent future. The training in pottery and business management Burtikan received through this broject gave her an eternal skill that has since brought her independence, a livelihood and, crucially, respect.

In a tiny village on the outskirts of Arba Minch, Burtikan was a single mother faced with an almost impossible situation. Her husband had left her and moved to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital city, never to return.

She had been shunned by her community and thus severed from any means of earning income or providing for her family – without the support of a husband to rely on.

Ten years later, the pottery co-operative now supports thirteen women. Burtikan – the original trailblazer – now manages it. Selling their pottery in the local village, managing their own income and proudly self-sustainable, these women have become respected heads of community proving that, even in the most hostile of environments, even in the most arid of landscapes, change is possible and, from a single seed, much fruit can grow. Burtikan now has the social status and independence she was deprived of for so long. 

Dignity. Independence. Time. Happiness. Security. A future to look forward to. These are the lasting impacts Vita works to achieve for women, safeguarding them from the extreme poverty, hardship, and climate change they too-often face alone. Support us in this vision here.