Women of Entoto Mountain, north of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, are forced to endure physically demanding work to survive. They have to carry bundles of eucalyptus weighing over 100 lbs on their back. Every day.
As the bundles are kept together with little more than fabric scraps, the burden rests on their arms and backs. Selling eucalyptus, for the equivalent of 60 cents a day, is the only form of employment available to them.
Nakisha, our co-founder ventured to Ethiopia in 2014. She wasn’t prepared for the burden and the beauty that she observed. Upon her return, she saw mountains move that opened up an opportunity for Ray and their oldest daughter, Victoria to visit as well…
Their experience was life-changing. They felt the need to ease the women of Entoto from their burden.
How could they help Entoto women?
The simple idea of a lightweight, specially designed backpack to help the women carry their loads came to mind. It was a first, concrete step to empower the women until the economic changes could allow them to take on different, less physically demanding jobs.
In 2016, the Entoto Gear backpack was born.