History

The seed of boMake Rural Projects was planted when Jenny Thorne founded Gone Rural (Pty) Ltd in Swaziland in 1992. Jenny had a vision to empower Swazi women in rural communities by giving them a voice, status in the community and the chance to earn an income using their talent and traditional skills.

Jenny wanted to tackle the needs of artisans not addressed by their work for Gone Rural, starting with mobile health clinics and with school fees. Sadly, she died before her idea had been realised but Gone Rural took steps to make her vision a reality.

We started Gone Rural boMake in 2006 to assist women and their communities through social upliftment programmes. Our projects began in the 52 communities in which the weavers live. Gone Rural partner Zoe Dean-Smith became our founding Director.

In 2017, we decided to establish ourselves as an independent, non-profit organisation with a new identity: boMake Rural Projects. However, the artisans of Gone Rural are still at the heart of our projects.

Thanks to the commitment of individuals and organisations and the dedicated endeavours of the boMake team over the years, we have much to be proud of. Read about our impact here.

What’s next? We have many plans for the future. With your help, we can reach more women, families and communities. Support boMake now!