SideBySide supports poor rural women in Africa who have to live in shelters. We help women by hiring them to work, thus giving them the opportunity to return to normal life in their community. We have started our work with women at the Kimbilio shelter, and plan to continue our cooperation with other shelters and women’s centers in Tanzania, and later in Namibia. The way from ordering to the delivery of finished product was worked out together with a team of professionals. The approach is based on customer needs, which determine suitable employees in a developing country. As soon as a Company orders a product from SideBySide, SideBySide guarantees the craftswomen receive all the training and support they need to make products, and that their work is properly controlled.

Women’s voice

We put our focus on preserving the value and social status of women. We do our best to support strengths and capabilities of each person.

Choice of values

SideBySide helps women in developing countries to study and work in their homeland. Choose correctly in an ethical way!

Katja and her journey

Our business model was created over a three year period. It all started with Katja Kokkoniemi’s idea to build a better future and run a business on a mutually beneficial basis. Katja has established a cooperation network in Tanzania and created the background conditions necessary for SideBySide. Katja’s story, is the story of women who continiously inspire and charge other people. You can read the Katja’s story in the magazine Maailman Kuvalehti, where she tells how it got started – an article in Finnish. Later the Tanzanian project will be expanded to Namibia. Upon this, there will be a flow on to other African countries. According to Katja, the work is just started.


The Chapel Parish Lempäälä, YMCA (The Young Men’s Christian Association) of Lempäälä and a large number of Finnish companies and experts work as the main SideBySide partners. In addition to Kimbilio, the cooperation network in Tanzania also includes a Diocese in the city of Morogoro, a number of women’s centers in Arusha, Makumira and some travel companies.