E. Aminata Brown, the Executive Director of SISTAWorks, founded BaBa Blankets in 2000, an African women’s collective geared towards providing sustainable income for Ghana’s economically marginalized women, particularly Ghana’s “kaya ye” or load carriers.
Through this work, she realized that regardless of their efforts, the women continued to live with stifling limitations due to their lack of formal education. In response, Brown and the BaBa Blankets social enterprise created the SISTA (Stay-In-School-Tuition-Assistance) Scholar Program in 2008. The program was developed to provide vital support to girls from Ghana’s most rural areas to continue their secondary school education.
Girls from rural villages in Ghana typically lack the financial support to continue their education beyond middle school, forcing thousands to drop-out before they can adequately read, write or formally participate in mainstream society. They are all too often forced to marry very young or join the workforce prematurely, continuing patterns of subsistence and strengthening the cycle of poverty in their families and communities.
From 2008-2011, the BaBa Blankets collective used proceeds from sales and donations from customers to help fund secondary school education for girls in the SISTA Scholar Program. In 2011, Ms. Brown formed SISTAWorks, Inc. as a separate non-profit organization to provide greater support to the SISTA Scholar program.
Today, the women of BaBa Blankets have moved on to become leaders in their families and communities. No longer producing BaBa Blankets as a collective, their legacy continues through the lives of each SISTA Scholar that their works have served to empower. We cherish the history of BaBa Blankets as the initial vehicle that catalyzed the educational dream of nearly 100 girls that would have otherwise gone without.