Here’s some information on an organization that participated in our recent African and Caribbean American Culture Day.
The Atinga Project works directly with artisans in Rwanda, selling their footwear locally and nationally through select retailers, using a unique social enterprise model called a dividend for development (D4D) to help generate economic impact within the marginalized communities with whom they serve and partner.
In their first year of full-scale operations, The Atinga Project, a local social enterprise, created over $2,500 worth of impact across 7 families in Rwanda. Based out of Co-work Buffalo on Main Street, the young Benefit Corporation challenges traditional and ineffective development approaches aimed at the African continent. They do this in a profoundly unique way: through a direct partnership with artisan-shoemakers that represent the average, everyday African working class. These artisans have for decades used discarded tires to handcraft durable footwear, hence The Atinga Project’s core message: walk a mile in the shoes of the people you want to help.