Denur Crafts features 100% handmade items from Kenya, made by a mother’s collective using traditional materials and methods. Items include fanciful mobiles, soapstone carvings, jewelry, and a variety of practical items. Proceeds support the women in sending their children to school.
Karen met Leah Mitula, head of Denur Crafts is the fall of 2013 in Great Barrington at Dan Mead and Sally’s Eagle’s house. A friendship developed and Leah had a family connection less than 5km from where Karen was based in 2012.
She also hosted has hosted the Sawa Sawa team in Nairobi since 2014 in Nairobi so we could continue our work.
We are thrilled to assist in selling Denur Crafts goods at the gallery to promote her good work.
Please click to visit their website: Denur Crafts
The Kipsongo Project
When Karen went to Kenya in September of 2012 she met Lindsey Casagrande who had started this. Karen donated some sewing machines as well as met and worked with the women of Kipsongo in the fall of 2012. The Saint Francis Gallery is now selling the wares of the Kipsongo and has been since February of 2013.
The Kipsongo Project is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working to improve the lives of those living in Kipsongo Slum in Kitale, Kenya. We believe in equipping community members with the tools they need to earn an income and to contribute to their community in a positive way. The Kipsongo Project is helping to connect artisans to the global market so they can sell their goods or we are providing microloans to enable recipients to start a business of their choice. Our mission is to transform Kipsongo Slum into a viable, self-sustainable village where all residents have access to the tools they need to obtain and maintain a fair level of social and economic well-being.
Currently, money raised from purchases and donations supports the following efforts:
Employment Opportunities• Child Nutrition and Education• Adult Education• Preventive and Curative Health Initiatives• Economic Development (primarily microfinance)
Please click to visit their website: The Kipsongo Project
Karen met Freek on R and R back in 2012 and since then Sawa has been involved with Free Kenya Foundation. They work with rural areas to create agricultural diversity and in 2017 we have contracted them to provide training for 1000 families in the Angiya area. Diversity of crops, marketing, water access, assessments, management techniques are some of the many areas that they will concentrate on. FreeKenya Foundation (FKF) is established in the Netherlands in 2006 and registered as a Kenyan international NGO in 2012, with office in Kisumu.
FreeKenya is a facilitator in the development of value chains in Agribusiness. Working together with local communities in Kenya since 2007 and having a well driven team of experienced agricultural experts, FreeKenya understands the challenges farmers are undergoing including the youth. A simple observation reveals that a lot of fertile land lays idle and is underutilized, while the levels of poverty remain high.
Please click to visit their website: Free Kenya Foundation
Takataka2pesa is a cooperative of 30 women based in Kisumu, Kenya that make all sorts of knitted, crocheted and sewn projects like the bags which we sell in the Saint Francis Gallery. It is run by Ans Spits and Rosemary Okwaro who have become not only friends of Sawa Sawa but we work with them to assist those women in being entrepreneurial and to allow them to create their own destiny.
Please click to visit their website: Takataka2Pesa