Domestic animals provide an important source of both food and income. Supplying the artisans with domestic animals both empowers them economically and strengthens the group as a whole, as the animals are collectively owned and cared for by the artisans.
- Goats and cows are sources of milk and meat.
- Chickens are a source of eggs and meat.
The milk, eggs and meat can be used by the group or sold for extra income. As the animals are bred the income they provide will grow over time.
This is an ongoing project, our goal is that all groups eventually will have their own domestic animals.
The artisans usually work from home, but once a week they meet and work together in the beautiful outdoors. While assessing the artisans´ needs it became clear that the artisans are in need of a shelter that can provide them with protection from both sunshine and rain when they meet.
The shelter will be built out of ecological and locally sourced materials as far as it is possible and will include the piloting of a system for collecting rainwater and a type of dry toilet. The collection of rainwater and the promotion of sanitary development through the dry toilet will bring improvement in the community. The project will be a valuable source of know-how for local builders and strengthen the community by providing a place to meet.
The project is still in its early stages: an architectural drawing is being made for the shelter, by Vilma Autio, and when Minna and Mari next go to Kenya, during the autumn, they will get the artisans feedback on it. The dry toilet is designed by Huussi.
This is a pilot project designed specifically to be easily replicated in other communities, and does not require expensive tools.
The first shelter and dry toilet will be built during the spring of 2017.
NGOMBE - COW / MACHAKOS 2015
In summer 2015 Mifuko Trust bought a Kenyan cow with a revenue from two events - Nordic Christmas Market in Nairobi, which took place in December 2014 and Restaurant Day event in Helsinki in May 2015. The cow now lives with a group of Mifuko´s basket makers in a rural village in Machakos county and the artisans, her happy and proud caretakers, named her Mifuko. Mifuko Trust paid vet expenses and a cowshed and the artisans prepared for the arrival of the cow by cultivating fodder for her.
Mifuko’s milk brings the artisans a new source of regular income. Some is spent on cow fodder and the remaining profit goes to an agreed purpose. In the future the group aims to use their savings to build a small house to let and to bring rental income. Working together for a shared goal improves co-operation skills, empowering the whole group.
This story is meant to be ongoing - in due time the future calf of Mifuko will be bringing brighter future for another group of basket makers.
FIRST PROJECT / CHOMBE - CONTAINER / KIBERA 2013
The first Mifuko Trust project took place in 2013 in Kibera, Nairobi´s largest slum. Mifuko helped smith Steve Kine to buy a container where his workshop was located. Steve Kine's landlord was selling the container and Steve was losing his workspace. Finding a new space that met the requirements was a challenge. As the new owner of the container Steve does not have to pay a monthly rent or worry about the future of his workspace any more, which makes his future planning and business developing much easier. Part of the container was paid by Steve Kine and the rest of the money was donated by Mifuko Trust.
Steve Kine is the maker of Mifuko aluminium jewellery and other metal items. He is a self-taught smith and employs Kibera´s slum youth in his workshop.
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