Maisha trains youth and adults in making hand-crafted goods and dressmaking skills. The Maisha Marketplace promotes economic empowerment as well as creating business and commerce. The widows working in the sewing and craft room work day in and day out on different projects they are commissioned to do. They make all of the children’s uniforms and also many other types of clothing and items. Many of the widows have tested HIV positive, so this creates an opportunity for them to still earn a respectable living, and not be defeated by the stigma the disease usually brings. Here are a few of them taking a quick picture break, in the middle of their busy day!
Their busiest time is during the summer when mission teams are coming in and out of Maisha. Many teams are interested in visiting the fabric store while they are in Kisumu, some for only two weeks. They pick out a few different fabrics and the widows will make them into different items such as clothes (for you or the kids), bags, purses, headbands, wallets, and even laptop sleeves. From there, the widows will work quickly to finish the items before the teams leave back to America. Often they are working on 10-15 different projects at a time!
Recently they have begun making a new type of headband that are selling like crazy! The widows enjoy making them because they are simple to make, but very fun looking at the same time.
That wraps up the blog for this week. Look out for a special guest blog from one of the new long-term team members, about her experience at Maisha thus far. Also, make sure you keep an eye out fore next week’s blog, featuring some really exciting news!
Live From Kenya- Until next week.
The Word of the Week is VITENGE, which is Kiswahili for dress. Enter the Word of the Week Contest by taking a brief survey and entering this week’s word at http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07e9e3jmdwhvzne3c8/start. Be on the lookout for the LIVE from Kenya blog each week through the end of July for a new word and another chance to win Maisha swag!