Mama Kasee, on the right, is a master basket maker and a very determined woman with a strong will and a rippling laughter. She leads a self help group of 40 women in a Machakos county village. Every member of the self help group puts part of their salary in a shared fund, from which any group member can request a loan when in need. Loans with a small interest are granted for example to cover health expenses or children´s school fees.
Mama Kasee always has something special reserved for Finns - such as a huge pile of the most delicious, fresh mangos and a fine rooster!
You can support Mama Kasee and her group by buying Kiondo baskets.
Lydia is chairwoman of a women´s group making Mifuko Kiondos. She is a cheerful person always full of energy, and she has excellent organizing skills. Lydia says that Making Kiondo baskets for Mifuko has provided her secure income to cover expenses and buy necessities for everyday life and, most importantly, to educate her children.
You can support Lydia and her group by buying kiondo baskets.
Mama Mwangi, Mary, is a strong woman. She is chairwoman of a women´s self help group making Mifuko soft toys and party flags. Mary is a natural born leader and her group employs over a hundred women in the village of Karinde, near Nairobi. Mary has three children, already adults, whom she raised as a single parent.
You can support Mary and her group by buying soft toys and party flags.
Raphael sows Mifuko bags. He works in Bombolulu Fairtrade Workshop in Mombasa, on the shore of the Indian Ocean. Bombolulu Workshop employs artisans with different kinds of disabilities or physical challenges. Raphael suffered polio at the age of five, which made him limp. It means limited possibilities in rural areas, but in Bombolulu Raphael has studied and learned the profession of a bag maker. Raphael enjoys his work and is happy that he can provide a living for his family with five children. Raphael´s future dreams include opening his own sewing business.
Raphael has a habit of slipping notes with his name and sometimes even his phone number in the pockets of the bags he has sown! So you may find a note from him in your new bag.
You can support Raphael and Bombolulu workshop by buying bags.
CECILIA, NICODEMUS, BENJAMIN AND DAVID
Cecilia, Nicodemus, Benjamin and David are the makers of Mifuko´s little wooden birds. They carve and paint our owls, bullfinches and many other African and Nordic birds in their own workshop. They have learned the carpenter´s profession from Nicodemus´s parents. Cecilia and Nicodemus are a couple with four kids. They enjoy their work as private entrepreneurs, happily making a living for their family. They can educate their children and take care of Nicodemus´s mother.
In addition to very lifelike wooden birds, Finnish guests have also received a real, handsome rooster from Cecilia one Easter!
You can support Cecilia, Nicodemus, Benjamin and David by buying wooden birds.
Francis Ogenga is the founder of Gololi Craft workshop in Kawangware slum in Nairobi. Francis´s workshop makes Mifuko´s ceramic jewellery. Gololi Craft employs three full time workers and the workshop also provides education for new artisans and working opportunities for the slum youth.
You can support Francis and the Kawangware slum youth he employs by buying ceramic necklaces and bracelets.