The Tuko Pamoja mission statement is to collaborate with marginalized Kenyan women’s artisan groups toward the goal of creating sustainable income and independence by:
- In the United States, organizing opportunities for Americans to help the Kenyan artisan groups achieve sustainable financial security, and
- In Kenya, facilitating ownership, independence, and empowerment for the artisan groups participating in Tuko Pamoja
Tuko Pamoja will educate Americans to the needs of female-led Kenyan artisan groups and call these Americans to ACTION. Through increased financial support and awareness, the Kenyan women’s artisan groups will become self-sustaining and the welfare of the targeted Kenyan communities will improve. As groups outgrow the training and leadership provided by Tuko Pamoja and implement independent sales structures, Tuko Pamoja will expand, welcoming new groups to the program.
Business History and Background
Tuko Pamoja responds to Kenyan women who are in need of a sustainable income and have unique handmade products to market. These connections were formed over several years of interactions and meetings arranged by Kenya Educational Service Trips (KEST). KEST has been working in Kenyan at-risk communities for more than eight years, and has brought over 120 American travelers to Kenya to learn and volunteer. Tuko Pamoja, launched in February 2012, is a ninety-nine percent women-owned, social conscious Limited Liability Company (LLC) based in Rockville, MD. All artisans are paid fair trade price for their wares upfront, assuming no risk in the business. All profits are reinvested in product, business development training, and ultimately the groups’ long-term savings plans.