The Village grandfathers (Umaus) specialize in carving wooden walking sticks and spoons. They sit out under the trees by their homes to stay cool while they whittle their wares. The grandmothers (Sho Shos) have been weaving sisal baskets since they were young. Both skills have been handed down from one generation to another in the Kamba tribe. They produce products of superior craftsmanship and intricate designs all in an effort to improve the quality of life for themselves and the grandchildren they are raising.
A model bio-friendly and self-sustaining community serving orphans and grandparents who have been left behind by the “lost generation” resulting from the HIV/AIDS pandemic, the Village is designed to house 1,000 orphans and 100 elderly grandparent in 100 homes.
Although the family’s basic needs are met with Nyumbani assistance, to enhance their quality of life further, the grandparents earn extra money by selling their crafts. With these additional funds, they are able to diversify their diet, use public transportation to visit their families up country, and make investments for future sales.
The Lea Toto twelve-member women’s group from the Dagoretti district specializes in beaded home décor and jewelry, featuring small glass beads and thin wire. These women are a text book example of entrepreneurship. Good Hope group members are always presenting new product ideas, their craft quality is near flawless, and there diversity of products makes them a go-to group with product ideas from the states. Meeting once a week as a group, they share product ideas and train one another in new skills.
To work for every woman and give them a way to provide good health, better education and enough food for their children.
Empower the members financially though Micro-finance initiatives such as table banking
Learn and sell craft products, especially beadwork
Carry out community outreach to other HIV infected families
Give psychological and social support to the caregivers
The ten-member Lea Toto group in the Dandora neighborhood specializes in jewelry created with small glass beads, as well as a variety of wire beaded animals. Visions Self-Help group has been working with KEST since 2006. When Tuko Pamoja was founded in March 2012, this group was the first of six to join in the venture. They have been able to buy property and start building on it. Their dream is to provide group members with housing on the second floor and a shop on the first. These women meet once a week to do craft work together and support one another as sisters.
To break the poverty cycle affecting their families (as a result of HIV/AIDS) through initiating an income generating activity for the group members.
Create a forum for debriefing among the group members
Sensitize the members and other infected and affected members of their rights
Initiate income generating activities for the group members
Empower the caregivers of the HIV infected/ affected children to fully take care of their children.
The ten-member group from the Kangemi community specializes in making beads from paper. They collect paper scraps and roll them into various bead sizes and shapes, then varnish and string them with small glass beads and plastic beads. Bone jewelry is also a specialty of theirs. This is a relatively newly formed group, founded in 2011. The members show great initiative and work hard to expand their product line. They meet once a week at the Lea Toto Kangemi Center where they can converse about their lives blessings and challenges, all while handcrafting their unique products. They also reach out to other newly formed self-help groups to train them in specific skills.
To enable the members to bring their energy together and uplift themselves through various income-generating activities.
Create a savings scheme among its members
Train all the members on its basic beadwork training
Share life experiences, especially with regards to HIV challenges