The Women of Big Issue

The Big Issue, in collaboration with Spirit Foundation, recognises the struggles that the female vendors face and acknowledge their remarkable efforts to provide for their families.

This women’s month, we celebrate our women vendors who are strong, resilient, patient, and powerful.

In their day-to-day lives, they juggle so many commitments and responsibilities, dealing with so much, yet they manage to stay on top and get things done. These women not only unselfishly see that the needs of their children and families are met, but in the process, they are confronted with enormous hurdles. They are victims of crime, being robbed by the street kids and gangsters, or those abusing drugs on their pitches or even on the way to their pitches.  Some are emotionally, financially, and physically abused by partners at home who abuse alcohol and other substances. Many of our women vendors endure emotional and physical pain alone in their homes and pitches with very limited or no support from family members and their communities. Some are widows and single parents and others informally foster caring children of deceased family members. Most times the silent battles they fight and the efforts of providing for their families are not acknowledged. Often, their efforts go unnoticed.

To help make the lives of these women better we have the home improvements project and the following are just some of the women who have benefited from this initiative.

Noloyiso Tubeni, a female vendor who was a victim of robbery in her home due to the lack of proper security infrastructure. She also endured cold nights because of the home lacking insulation. Noloyiso was assisted in buying ceiling boards that would provide insulation and more security of which she was in desperate need of.

Rudicca Ntalo is a female vendor whose house was often drenched on rainy days because of her leaking roof. She was assisted in buying corrugated iron sheets to replace the rusty and broken ones. She now has a dryer and warmer home in which to enjoy.