Twenty-four women meet daily to handcraft paper from shredded bank notes, and then personalize each card with an artist’s original design. It takes four people to create one card, imagine! Tuko Pamoja has suggested card ideas and the artisans at Kibera Paper have made samples which are now carried in the Kibera Paper and Tuko Pamoja inventories. In fact, the Tuko Pamoja logo of two ladies dancing is an original design created by the artist at Kibera Paper! These cards are so beautiful you will have trouble parting with them. Packs of five cards make great gifts.
PROJECT VISION To see the transformation of the poorest member of the informal settlement in Kibera, through a program of sustainable development.
PROJECT MISSION Teach the women the skills that will allow them to earn an income, helping them to provide for themselves and their families.
Institute attitudinal change towards business and work in general.
Train and promote savings as a way of wealth creation and poverty reduction.
Enable them to grow in their self-esteem and to be a part of a group as equal
Facilitate harmonious relationship, through working and learning together.
Build and restore self-esteem and confidence within the community so as to take advantage of the prevailing economic environment.
Susan was born in Muranga in 1959, but she does not remember the day or month. She was the third born in her family, and has two sisters and one brother. She attended a school in Muranga through Standard seven.
Susan is a widowed single mother raising three children. Her two sons are Benjamin and Hezron, and her only daughter is Judy.
She was a founding member of Kibera Paper ten years ago! While it is more than she was making before, the cost of rent, school feeds, and food are very burdensome. Susan also struggles with health problems. Her right knee and right wrist are unwell, and arthritis makes her job difficult. Hospital fees are too high to afford any treatment for her pain.
Susan hopes one day to have enough money saved to buy a plot of land to live on, to be able to afford the things she needs, and to pay for medical bills.
Eunice Anyango Okoko
Eunice was born on November 9, 1971 in Kisumu in the Nganza district. She has six brothers, but three have passed. Of her four sisters, only two are still alive. Her mother is still living, but her father died in 2002. Eunice attended school through Class seven, and helps with translating English between Tuko Pamoja and the other Kibera Paper women.
Eunice is married to Paul Okoko, who was born in 1958. Together they have two children; Gordon Omondi is 23. He finished Form four and now attends driving school. The other son, Alphonse Otieno, is 17 and in Form four currently.
Kibera Paper is the main source of income for Eunice and her family. Paul has to look for work daily, so the money he brings in is unreliable. Her home was robbed and they were severely beaten. This left her husband in the hospital for four months, and although he has recovered he is unable to do hard physical labor. She earns KSH4500 per month from Kibera Paper, but pays KSH3000 per month in rent for their one bedroom space.
Eunice hopes to one day have a home of her own.
Emma was born on May 23, 1970 in Muranga. She is one of ten children: five brothers and four sisters. All of her siblings are alive and well, but her parents have passed. Emma completed Form four and attended Secretarial College. She translates English for Tuko Pamoja and the other Kibera Paper women.
Emma is a single mother to her son, Eliud Mwangi. He is five years old and in pre unit school. Emma is the office assistant for Kibera Paper!
Her biggest challenges are having enough money to provide for her son’s education and their home. She also tries to help others in need in her community. She hopes to one day move to a nice home in Nairobi.
David was born on May 21, 1986. His family is originally from Kibera, and he has two brothers and two sisters (he is the third born). They all still live in the community. His mother, Freida, was a founder of Kibera Paper. David attended school through Form two, but had to drop out because of the high school fees and to become the bread winner for the family.
David is an artist for Kibera Paper, and he is the sole provider for his family. This places a lot of pressure on him to make sure his mother and siblings are cared for. He hopes to someday move out of Kibera and make a good home for his family. He looks forward to a stable life and wants a family of his own.
He loves art and is inspired by the talent in Africa. When asked how he became an artist he replied, “I was born an artist.” He is excited to be part of Kibera Paper and Tuko Pamoja.
Selline Adhiambo was born in Nyanza on April 14, 1983. She is the oldest child, and has one younger brother. She was educated through Standard 8.
Selline is married to Evans, and has three boys and one girl. Her boys are Darrick (12), Tatty (8), Franchet (5), and her daughter is Shary (2). She also takes care of her 17 year-old brother ever since her parents passed away. He is now in Form 3.
She has been employed with Kibera Paper for ten years. The biggest challenge she faces is paying the school fees, but she hopes her children are able to finish their education through university!
The day Tuko Pamoja visited Kibera Paper, Selline helped to teach the travelers how to make paper, and also provided translation for the women who did not speak English.
Selline is happy that we visit, and is praying that Tuko Pamoja can achieve it’s goals.