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MEP - The Muko Empowerment Program

Providing Handcraft Training, Fair Wages, and Market Opportunities

Muko is a poor, rural region of southwest Uganda where jobs are scarce and incomes for individuals and families are typically less than $1.79 per day. The residents of Muko SubCounty are subsistence farmers and there is little opportunity to earn money in this rural area.

In 2008, ACT created the Muko Empowerment Program (MEP). This program is designed to provide income opportunities for the women and men of Muko Sub County through handcraft training, production and sales. Over 40 women in Muko are involved in the MEP Program making beautiful baskets, jewelry, and sewn items. The women earn wages for their wares from ACT which help to pay for their children’s tuition. The crafts are purchased and sold by ACT with all sales returning to fund programs for the Muko community, including handcraft training.


Phoebe (rear) and Penlope sewing

Phoebe (rear) and Penlope sewing


There are about 15 women who are sewing handcrafts for ACT. They are most willing to learn to make new items which they do through watching videos that volunteer seamstresses in the U.S. provide them to teach them the patterns. This is a spirited group of talented and very resourceful women.

African fabrics are known for their wonderful patterns and colors. The women use these fabrics to create stuffed animals, placemats, table runners, handbags and a variety of other products.

In addition to the Ugandan women in our program, there are approximately 10 women in the U.S. that also sew items for ACT. These items are made locally due to not being able to resource the materials in Uganda. The U.S. sewing women also create videos os sewing patterns to send to the Ugandan women so that they can learn new patterns.

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Beautiful hand-woven baskets that come in a variety of sizes, shapes, colors and patterns are available for sale. In addition to finding them useful, you will see they are also works of art. Depending upon the size and design of the basket, each basket takes between 3-5 days to make.



Another item available through ACT is jewelry made by the women of Uganda. The jewelry is made with beautiful beads created from magazines and other paper goods. These beads are made by cutting the paper into long triangles and rolling tightly. They are then lacquered and strung into gorgeous necklaces, bracelets and earrings.

All of these beautiful, hand-crafted items are available at church alternative gift fairs, several Michigan art fairs, a store front in Midland, Michigan, ARTREACH in Mt. Pleasant, MI and online - right here


The store is now located at:

509 S Homer Road, Midland MI

Hours by appointment: (989) 698-6581


111 E Broadway, Mt. Pleasant, MI

(989) 773-3689

For information on upcoming art/handcraft fairs please see our PURCHASE A HANDCRAFT page.