Gone Rural Swaziland

Gone Rural Swaziland

To empower the women of Swaziland.

Other | South Africa | Capacity Building |



Gone Rural started organically in the 1970s and was officially registered in 1992. Our founder the late Jenny Thorne co founded a series of shops across Swaziland which sold local crafts. Through these she saw an opportunity to use handcraft as a means to empower the women of Swaziland. Until recently Swazi women had very few rights and were forced to rely on men to support them not even allowed to own a piece of land in their own name. But up in the mountains where the indigenous lutindzi grass grows wild Jenny saw women weaving and saw an opportunity to help them use these skills to secure a sustainable independent income with which to support themselves and their families. Today Gone Rural works with more than 750 artisans in 13 groups across Swaziland from young women to gogos (grandmothers) and often with three generations of women from one family. By providing our women with self employed home based work we empower them with a sustainable income while still allowing them to fulfill their traditional duties and provide care to dependents. Today we supply our woven products to hundreds of retailers around the globe allowing us to quadruple artisan incomes in the last few years. We also invest (at least) 30% of annual profits into our community development organisation Gone Rural boMake. Gone Rural boMake (meaning 'women') complements our income generation work with empowerment programmes including sponsoring school fees drilling boreholes and providing mobile clinics. To date we have provided clean water to more than 14000 people and in a country with the highest density of HIV in the world a remarkable 95% of our women know their HIV status (nearly three times the national average.) We also have peer educators working in every community and are governed by an Artisan Board (made up of the 13 group leaders). They set the prices and they discuss and debate the future of Gone Rural truly empowering our women to lead the way.


Legal Structure

Operating Status


Other Operating 2 - 10 employees

Funding and Financing Rounds




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Impact Reports & Metrics



Swaziland, South Africa


Revision History

Last Update: Oct 15, 2018 5:42 a.m.

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