Every Purchase Supports Survivors of Gender Based Violence
Our charity partner, the Saartjie Baartman Centre, is a vital organisation, working tirelessly to support survivors of gender-based violence. Their vision is to create a safe and secure society for women and children who feel empowered to exercise their rights to the fullest extent.
The centre offers services for all women and children experiencing abuse, including a 24-hour emergency shelter, counselling and mental health support and legal advice. Since opening in 1999, the organisation has supported over 250,000 survivors of gender-based violence.
Without the centre, women and children experiencing horrific abuse and violence would have nowhere to turn
Gender Based Violence in South Africa: The Facts
In 2019-2020, a woman was murdered every 3 hours in South Africa - 2,695 women in total. A heart-breaking total of 943 children were also murdered.
The South African police recorded 42,289 rapes in the year 2019-2020 - that’s 116 every single day. A huge proportion of rapes go unreported and women’s groups estimate that a woman is raped every 26 seconds.
Across the world, an average of 2.6 women in every 100,000 are victims of femicide. In South Africa, it’s 12.1 in every 100,000 - that’s five times worse than the global average.
Suffice to say, the figures are horrifying. Women and children in South Africa need our support now more than ever.
Victoria Orr grew up in Benoni, South Africa and is a citizen of South Africa and the UK. She has worked all over the world in senior, global leadership roles at some of the most successful companies, but always envisioned returning to her roots, and to a cause that means so much.
Proudly feminist and a lifelong advocate of women’s rights, she spent years watching gender-based violence catapult to epidemic proportions in her native country. Although incredibly proud of what she has achieved in her career, she became increasingly frustrated with the corporate world.
While working on large-scale projects, Victoria was asked, ‘What keeps you awake at night?’. She realised that, despite facing pressures and deadlines in her job, the issues she was really worried about were bigger and much more serious than corporate targets.
She thought of the millions of women around the world who can’t sleep. They can’t sleep because they’re terrified. They can’t sleep because their partners won’t let them. They can’t sleep for fear of their lives.
So, she decided to use her skills and compassion to make a change - to support struggling communities, whilst tackling gender-based violence: an issue she has always held close to her heart.
As the start of a new chapter for Victoria dawned, so did Amandla Ubuntu.
Victoria wanted a name for the brand that plays tribute to the mission behind it: to share outstanding the creativity and talent of South African crafters with the world, whilst supporting survivors of gender-based violence.
So, she chose Amandla Ubuntu, two South African words each with such important meanings, but they carry an even more important meaning together.
Amandla means ‘strength’ and ‘power’ in Xhosa and Zulu. It quickly became the rallying cry of Apartheid resistance, used during marches and protests by those who opposed it. Today, ‘Amandla’ is used to describe perseverance, resilience and, ultimately, refusing to give up, no matter what adversities we might face.
Roughly translated, ‘Ubuntu’ means ‘we are stronger as one’. The human rights activist, Archbishop and Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu brought the spirit of Ubuntu to life after Apartheid. He described it as ‘the very essence of being human’. It is to move away from selfishness and embrace togetherness, sharing everything you have with those around you.
Our founder Victoria was Christened by Desmond Tutu himself. So, this philosophy, for her, is personal.
Together, these words encompass the heart and soul of the brand. Not only does Amandla Ubuntu source beautifully unique products hand-crafted by artists in South Africa, but a percentage of all profits go straight to the Saartjie Baartman Centre, supporting women and children experiencing gender-based violence.
At Amandla Ubuntu, our roles are more than simply jobs. From our founder to our photographer to our creators to our buyers, to represent us is to believe wholeheartedly that gender-based violence is an issue that needs the weight of the world behind it.
We share the Ubuntu philosophy - that we are one.
Read more about who we are, our artists and people we admire.
Our mission is to make a tangible difference to the lives of women experiencing gender violence in South Africa - to change a little corner of the world.