Auhof Basket Company winner of the Herta Pammer Award 2003

The winner of this year's Herta Pammer Award, dedicated by Austrian Catholic Women's Movement KFB to honour outstanding women and development projects is abc - auhof basket company. abc has been collaborating with the Tonga.Online project since its inception. 

abc is a training firm at Linz Auhof Business School. Since September 2001 a course of 20 students has been establishing a market for Tonga baskets in Austria. Traditionally the baskets are used as household items but also sold to tourists as a souvenir at places like Victoria Falls, Kariba or Harare. Now they are for sale in Austria too. abc has been importing directly from Binga Craft Centre in Zimbabwe and sells the baskets to retailers and consumers in Austria. Such kind of training under real terms provides not only business skills but also understanding for another culture.

The baskets are produced by Tonga women in the remote Zambezi Valley to generate much needed income. Binga Craft Centre is organised as a women's co-operative and purchases the goods from individual women, all members of the co-operative. It also provides training for the women in the form of environmental management, quality control and training for board members and club office bearers. The income is used for food, school fees and medicine for the families.

The award of the Catholic Women's Movement KFB (Katholische Frauenbewegung) appreciates the co-operation with rural women in Zimbabwe and the promotion of their trade. The abc students decided to earmark about 2 Mio Zimbabwe Dollar of the award to foster the collaboration with the Tonga women by creating a job opportunity in Binga: Theo Sianyuka, a young Tonga woman will be trained under the Tonga.Online project at Binga Information Technology Centre and assist in the marketing of Tonga baskets.