Why a foundation?
On an occasional return to her rural birth village, ABKA Founder, Genet Abegaz, became an informal ambassador of education to girls. Blessed to have two parents that supported the education of women, Mrs. Abegaz understood at a very young age her environment at home was unique. While visiting her home village, Mrs. Abegaz quickly realized that although the world had moved lightyears in the progression of women, there were areas it had remained the same and education equality was a key area of disparity. While visiting a local school in the village, she was made aware that the young girls who were not at the top of their class academically would lead a very different life than the ones who were. The top of the class would move on to further their education, while those who struggled academically destined to become, at best, domestic help, or at worst, child brides.
The young girls were destined to this future because their parents simply could not afford their school fees. If the girls were allowed to stay in school, they would have a better opportunity at life and gain new skills to further their education. Genet Abegaz launched the ABKA Kids Foundation to ensure the young girls from the village would have the opportunity to attend school without the pressure of knowing they would become a child bride if they could not perform adequately.
How it works?
A portion of each ABKA handbag sold is earmarked for a fund that sponsors young girls in the rural village of Dessie, Ethiopia. The first year we sponsored 4 girls and the second 9. The sponsorship ensures that school all fees, meals and accommodations for the young girls are paid allowing the young girls to focus on learning and, simply being a young girl. Furthering the commitment, the young girls are offered an internship with ABKA in Addis Ababa. The young girls not only learn in the classroom, but they are awarded the unique opportunity to join the small staff of ABKA in the Addis Ababa workshop. Young girls learn critical skills that will help them secure employment after they finish school and, most importantly, provide them with confidence to keep moving forward.
At its core, ABKA is about supporting people. Supporting our customers to fulfill the desires of their imagination in fine handcrafted leather pieces, supporting our staff to feel valued and enriched, supporting the young girls from a rural village to believe they can truly become anything they wish and supporting the wider community with practices of sustainability and trust.
Thank you for your interest and support of ABKA Kids Foundation!
For more information about ABKA contact: email@example.com