In the village of Sirigu, located in remote northern Ghana, a remarkable organization is harnessing the transformative power of art to uplift and empower women.
The Sirigu Women’s Organization for Pottery and Art (SWOPA) was established by Melanie Kasise, who was born and raised in Sirigu. Her mother made and sold traditional pottery to pay for Melanie and her siblings' school fees; her mother's art made it possible for Melanie to graduate from high school, and then to become the first in her family to attend university. Melanie became a teacher, and then a trainer of teachers. When she retired from a 40-year career as an educator, Melanie wanted to honour her mother and the many other women of the region who support their children's education through their artwork.
And so in 1991 SWOPA was born. The organization aims to empower local women by providing them with vocational training, income-generating opportunities, and a platform to showcase their artistic talents. It also seeks to protect the rich cultural heritage of the Kassena-Nankana people, preserving traditional art forms and pottery techniques, which have been passed down through generations. By providing training in these ancient crafts, SWOPA ensures that these cultural traditions are not lost but celebrated and shared.
We are honoured to work with SWOPA, proud of the partnership we have built and the products we create together: