At Staples Promotional Products we believe in making a difference to the communities, people and ecology around us. A large part of conquering that mission is to work with partners who share the same convictions we do. SanMar, a valued partner to our organization, shared this story with us about their efforts in Tanzania.

Making a Difference for Tanzanian Women

It’s very rare to see a woman working outside the home in Tanzania. They’re often busy looking after the SanMar in Africahomestead while men work in outside jobs. This means that work often performed by women in other parts of the world – things like housekeeping, cooking, waiting tables – are dominated by men throughout Africa. When women do hold jobs, it’s typically something that doesn’t pay well and has a limited future.

When SanMar began sourcing some products in Africa, it opened a lot of doors previously closed to women, especially when many of the men initially hired by the factory decided they didn’t want to sew. Women lined up at the factory every week for jobs that promised a steady stream of income, job security and the opportunity to create a better life for themselves and their family. Today, women make up 80% of the staff at the factory in Tanzania.

During a visit Marty Lott, SanMar Founder and CEO, was amazed by what he saw.

“It’s incredible to see how excited people are to have jobs at this factory,” said Marty. “We’re able to provide continuous work – something most people in this region aren’t used to, and we give people a life they never dreamed of while helping to lift them out of extreme poverty. ”

The jobs provided by this manufacturing facility create a ripple effect throughout the entire community.

With steadyafrica_tanzania[1] paid work, employees invest in their neighborhoods by shopping at local merchants, eating the occasional meal out and even purchasing a home for themselves and their families.