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penduka namibia building
the penduka story embroidery

THE CHALLENGE

At Penduka, we are committed to challenging the status quo. Our efforts will persist in elevating women and creating opportunities in entrepreneurship, enabling them to earn a dignified livelihood. Our approach always prioritizes people over profit, as we work towards a more sustainable, equitable, and inclusive future.

Globally, women and girls face heightened vulnerability to poverty, violence, and abuse. They are more prone to malnutrition and lack of education. Women are underrepresented in formal businesses and leadership positions, often earning less than men for equivalent work. Despite these challenges, women have historically been the caretakers of their communities and the foundation of economies.

The United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 seeks to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, laying the foundation for Penduka Development Trust’s mission. The task ahead is substantial, as statistics indicate that significant efforts are required to meet this goal by 2030. Social Enterprises play a crucial role in empowering women on a global scale. As awareness and recognition of the need to address gender inequality grow worldwide, an increasing number of socially conscious consumers actively support female producers.
 

In summary, Penduka Development Trust strives to achieve gender equality and empowerment in alignment with the UN's SDG 5. While acknowledging the significant work that lies ahead, we recognize the positive power social enterprises have in uplifting women globally. Despite the existing inequalities, we are dedicated to challenging the current economic paradigm and creating opportunities for women to thrive, ensuring their dignity and well-being are at the forefront of our endeavors.

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EMPOWERING WOMEN THROUGH SOCIAL ENTERPRISE

Penduka is driven by a powerful social enterprise model, dedicated to the development of skills, the promotion of creativity, and the economic empowerment of women in Namibia's marginalized communities. Our core focus lies in the production of unique and high-quality handmade products that showcase the remarkable talents and stories of our artisans.

Within our social enterprise, women employed by Penduka receive continuous training and support to enhance their skills. We believe in nurturing their potential and providing them with opportunities for personal and professional growth.

Peer group learning plays a pivotal role in our approach. We encourage women who attend workshops and training sessions to share their newfound skills with community members who may not have had the chance to participate. By fostering a spirit of collaboration and knowledge exchange, we create a ripple effect of empowerment that extends beyond our immediate reach.
 

For the past three decades, Penduka has remained committed to its legacy of empowering women in Namibia to overcome unemployment and poverty. We firmly believe in the equality of all individuals, regardless of their social background, tribal heritage, or physical disabilities. Our doors are open to women from all walks of Namibian society, providing them with valuable exposure and experience in various areas such as production (embroidery, sewing, jewelry making, pottery), inventory management, retail, hospitality, and customer service. Throughout their journey with Penduka, these women thrive in a supportive and empowering environment, gaining skills that transcend the workplace.

At Penduka, we understand that true empowerment goes beyond economic stability. We are dedicated to fostering holistic growth, nurturing the self-confidence and resilience of every woman we work with. Through our social enterprise model, we are weaving a tapestry of transformation, one that uplifts women, strengthens communities and paves the way for a more inclusive and prosperous future.
 

At Penduka we believe that sustainable economies are developed from businesses that operate fairly and ethically and endeavor to maximize social impact alongside economic returns for all beneficiaries. Therefore, women who have accrued the necessary entrepreneurial skills are encouraged and continuously supported to start up their own enterprises and become financially independent. 

Looking forward, Penduka ventures to expand our operations by increasing the number of women who benefit from the initiative whilst at the same time-serving as a community centre and networking hub that serves the community, advising them on health, nutrition, family matters, recycling, alternative energy, and more.

A SAFE SPACE 

Beyond physical comfort, we recognise the essential factor of also accounting for the mental well-being of our women. Our workplace is carefully configured to set the right tone to increase curiosity (crucial for learning), raise employee morale and encourage open and honest communication. 


Penduka remains deeply committed to providing a safe, nurturing, and progressive workplace for our team. We are passionate about personal and professional development, as we see it as the cornerstone of our continued success. 


Ultimately, we believe psychological security in the workplace is about providing a safe space for employees to be themselves and reach their full potential. 

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CELEBRATING MORE THAN 30 YEARS

In 1992, Penduka was established by Christien Roos, a Dutch occupational therapist, and the Namibian, Martha Muulyau, her first board member. The two women shared a significant history, stemming from their involvement with a previous organization called Ehafo. Ehafo was dedicated to assisting individuals with disabilities in acquiring essential skills for social integration. Through this experience, Roos and Muulyau recognized the transformative power of empowering individuals, particularly women, through business and artisan entrepreneurship.

 

With a modest start, the organization initially comprised only six women who were eager to unlock their creative potential. Guided by a shared vision, Penduka aimed to provide opportunities for these women to develop their skills and leverage their talents in pursuit of a better future. From its humble beginnings, Penduka has grown exponentially, expanding its reach and impact on the lives of women in Namibia's marginalized communities.  

Through various initiatives, Penduka has nurtured a supportive environment that encourages personal growth, fosters creativity, and enables sustainable income generation. Today, Penduka stands as a beacon of hope and empowerment, continually striving to uplift women by offering them the tools, resources, and platforms necessary to thrive as entrepreneurs and artisans. With a steadfast commitment to fostering economic independence and social inclusion, Penduka continues to empower women to overcome the challenges of unemployment and poverty, enabling them to shape their own destinies.

Penduka has become a driving force in transforming the lives of women in Namibia, through its unwavering dedication and visionary leadership, embodying the belief that empowerment through entrepreneurship can create lasting change and pave the way for a brighter future.

the founders of penduka

PENDUKA NAMIBIA ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE

Penduka management team

Kauna Elizabeth Mudhengi

Kauna Elizabeth Mudhengi

General Management

Liina Shikongo

 Liina Shikongo

Hospitality

Loide Nanyeni

Loide Nanyeni

Finance

Landuleni Ndeutapo

Landuleni Ndeutapo

Production Manager

Vistorina Nepembe

Vistorina Nepembe

Hospitality

Elmarie Van Rensburg

Elmarie van Rensburg

Consultant

Penduka Namibia Board members

  • Christien Roos

  • Patemoshela Hamunyela (Chair)

  • Johanna Wolf

  • Carol Garoes

  • Clement Daniels

OUR PARTNER ORGANISATIONS AND STAKEHOLDERS 

Penduka owes its success and sustainability to the invaluable involvement and support of our partner organizations and stakeholders. Our complete transparency and long-term relationships with stakeholders (both local and international - including Governments, other NGOs, suppliers, and private companies) bear testimony to our positive reputation and loyalty, giving credibility to the Penduka brand since 1992. 

Their role is crucial as they bring a wealth of diverse expertise, resources, and extensive networks that significantly enhance the capabilities and reach of our social enterprise. Through collaboration with our partners, we are able to access specialized knowledge, skills, and funding, empowering us to tackle complex social challenges with greater effectiveness.

Moreover, our stakeholders play a pivotal role in bolstering the credibility and reputation of Penduka. Their support enables us to attract broader backing and gain valuable exposure, further amplifying the impact of our work.

 

We are deeply grateful to all our partner organizations and ever-growing ecosystem (based in The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, USA and South Korea) and local and international stakeholders for their unwavering commitment and contributions, which have been instrumental in ensuring Penduka's long-term viability and continued success.

Penduka would like to express sincere gratitude to all our stakeholders who have been instrumental in carrying and supporting our social enterprise throughout the years. Without your invaluable support, we would not be celebrating over 30 years of our organization's existence. Thank you for your continued belief in our mission and for standing beside us as we strive to create a better world.

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Become a part of our journey

Batik art

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

If you have valuable skills, expertise, or a desire to contribute your time, we welcome you to join us as a volunteer. By becoming a volunteer, you can share your knowledge, learn new skills, and directly contribute to our mission of empowering vulnerable women. Contact us to explore available volunteer opportunities and discuss how you can make a difference.

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STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT

We value the input and guidance of stakeholders who can offer advice and support. If you have insights, connections, or resources that can help us grow and improve, we invite you to become a stakeholder of Penduka. Your involvement will contribute to our strategic decision-making processes and help us forge meaningful partnerships within the community. Reach out to us to discuss how you can become an active stakeholder.

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PARTNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

We invite companies and organizations who share our vision to collaborate with us. By partnering with Penduka, you can support our social enterprise while gaining access to unique, handcrafted products that align with your values. If you are interested in stocking Penduka products or exploring potential business collaborations, please contact us to initiate a partnership discussion.

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MAKE A DONATION

If you wish to make a donation or sponsor a special project, you can support us in two ways:

  • Donate via PayPal: You can make a secure donation through PayPal by clicking on the "Donate" button below.

  • Contact Us: If you prefer to share more details or discuss sponsorship opportunities, please feel free to get in touch with us directly. We would love to hear from you and explore how we can work together to make a positive impact.

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