Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Inspirational Woman #1--Liz Bohannon!


My focus this year is on heroic women. I'm trying to focus my research and reading on women that I find inspirational. I decided that whenever I find a woman worth highlighting, I will do a post on them and I'm turning it into a series.

Thus, my first post is on a woman right here in Kansas City who traveled to Uganda. I found her story fascinating for several reasons. For one, my youngest son and I were memorizing the countries of Africa during school this year. We also had read and prayed for various countries in Africa, including Uganda, using Samaritan's Purse's Prayer Point.

Liz Bohannon not only traveled to Uganda and wanted to make a difference for the women living there, she actually has made it happen. She went to Uganda in 2008 and she wanted the women there to get an education. The main obstacle for them was of course money, so Bohannon came up with a way to overcome that obstacle.

The plan was simple, but took a lot of work and ingenuity on Bohannon's part. She came up with a way for Ugandan women to make sandals for her to sell here in the U.S. The result:
Now 24, Bohannon is running an international shoe business and changing the lives of young women in Africa.

The sandal business hasn’t put any money in Bohannon’s pocket yet, but it is growing. Last year Sseko sold 1,000 sandals online. This milestone was crossed in the first four months of this year.

In the U.S., women have taken to throwing Sseko house parties, displaying and taking orders on the sandals.

About a dozen area boutiques have committed to stocking the sandals, and several have placed big orders. Bohannon hired an American woman living in Uganda to manage the east African operation and the shipping.

Back in Uganda, 12 women, ages 18 to 22, get a monthly salary that in some cases is more than the combined annual income earned by their entire family.

I found the story amazing and inspirational, but not shocking. Women love shoes!! If more of us took the time to not only care about a situation, but to make a difference, the world would be a different place. Liz Bohannon has set a great example for us all!!

To read the rest of her story and to find out how to get a pair of the sandals yourself, go here!

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