Indego Africa (www.indegoafrica.org) is a non-profit that supports female artisans in Rwanda by training them in business skills and design, and partnering them with brands like Nicole Miller, J. Crew, and Anthropologie to sell their beautiful handicrafts in the US and Europe. For a few years now, IA has had an annual celebration called Ibirori!. “Ibirori” means “celebration” in Kirwanda, and indeed, the friends and partners of IA have much to celebrate: In 2008, nearly all the women in partner cooperatives were earning less than $1 a day. Today, they consistently earn more through their own initiatives and oversee families that are entirely free of hunger, inadequate housing, and school absenteeism.
2012’s Ibirori! celebrations were held in the lower east side of Manhattan at The DL‘s gorgeous enclosed rooftop bar. The event featured an open bar, hors d’oeuvres, and Nigerian disco dance music courtesy of DJ Uchenna Ikonne.
For this event, I coordinated venue selection, food and drink, programming, and music; and oversaw the budget.
The event generated a revenue of over $10,000 as a combo of ticket sales, donations, and product sales. Indego Africa is launching an Occupational Safety Initiative at partner cooperatives, and the money raised at Ibirori! will help over the costs of this project. The Occupational Safety Initiative is being implemented to minimize health risks and physical strain associated with producing handicrafts for artisan partners.