One of Africa’s greatest paradoxes is the lack of private and public recognition of women’s role in society while they form the backbone of the economy, both outside and within the home. Because of this, they receive less education and training opportunities and therefore less access to the formal job market.

Often, single or separated women resort to sex work as a way to make ends meet for their families, coming at a high cost in terms of health and safety for the disproportionately low financial compensation. This issue has been exacerbated in Northern Mozambique by the growing oil and gas industry- a heavily male oriented and temporary industry.

Additionally, single women from these backgrounds have little opportunity to break the cycle of poverty as they are unable to find trained care for their children who are not yet in school age- arguably one of the most important periods for a child’s physical, emotional and intellectual development. Often, they rely on girls who are themselves too young to adequately respond to the needs of babies and toddlers, and must skip school in order to do so. This leaves more children and young girls without the necessary educational and developmental opportunities and skills they need to later be able to choose the lives they will want to lead.


First and foremost, IKURU seeks to employ women from these marginalised sectors. We invest in professional training, create job opportunities and provide a safe and encouraging working environment. We also provide weekly personal development workshops through the help of dedicated, professional volunteers in English, computer skills, woman’s rights and gender equality, and basic financial literacy.

It is our firm belief that by giving these women a chance at gainful and rewarding employment, where they are able to develop a sense of achievement, pride and creativity through their carefully handcrafted clothing, they, their children and their communities will grow as a result. Capulana by capulana.

IKURU provides free health services at a private clinic and bi-monthly in-house training on community health: HIV/AIDS, family planning, nutrition, malaria and sanitation. By doing so, we hope to improve their quality of life, decrease the amount of easily preventable diseases which afflict so many and unduly lead to death and increase their and their children’s productivity at work and at school respectively.

IKURU subsidises pre-school fees for our employees’ children under five years old who are too young to enter primary school. This allows the children to get a head start in the education system, eat 3 healthy meals a day and the mothers are able to work without worrying about their little ones during the day.