Sseko Designs Starboard straps were just featured in this month's Vogue!
If you haven't heard of Ssekos before, you're about to get educated...
Started by Mizzou-alum Liz Bohannon after a post-graduation visit to Uganda "with the intention of using my communication skills to assist a youth development organization..." fitting into her plan of graduating and going on to do PR and communication for a non-profit. Once she was there, however, everything changed. She was changed by her experience. Meeting bright young women overcoming obstacles we cannot even fathom, just for the opportunity to get an education, she was inspired. And thus, Sseko was born. Sourcing all her materials from the local markets, Liz searched for weeks before finding all the right tools to design and create her beautiful, simple sandal.
Now, Sseko Designs focuses on helping some of the brightest, most committed young women in Uganda continue their education.
In Uganda, the school system is designed with a nine month gap between secondary school and university. These nine months are intended to allow time for students to earn money for tuition before continuing on to university. However, in an impoverished and male dominated society, many of these young women struggle to find fair work during this time.
Sseko Designs hires recent secondary school graduates for this nine month period to live and work together, while earning money that will go directly towards their university education. These women will not make sandals forever. They will go on to be doctors, lawyers, politicians, writers and teachers that will bring change and unification to a country divided and ravished by a 22 year-long war.
The goal of Sseko Designs is two-fold: provide university tuition for these promising young women through a sustainable monthly income, while also contributing to the overall economic development of Uganda.
Sseko has graduated three classes of women. Every woman who has graduated from Sseko is currently pursuing her college degree.