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Entries in Africa (2)


how it's made: beaded bracelets

Bawa La Tumaini in Kenya, which translates to ‘Wing of Hope’ in English, is a Fair-Trade company which finances the purchase of raw materials, pays creative women and men fair wages to produce products such as baskets and jewelry, and provides links to global markets to sell their handicrafts.

Produced by a group of 15 women and men, in one of the Nairobi’s informal settlements, they specialize in making handicrafts based on Maasai bead jewellry—necklaces, wrist bands, friendship bands, and anklets.

Their main market has been through local sales in Nairobi but unfortunately, they have not been sustainable—in this African setting the nuclear family supports the extended family.

Different age groups wear different styles, designs and colors of beaded pieces—but women decide the styles to create. This limited quantity purchase will translate into colorful gifts that give on in the way of access to healthcare facilities, food and clean drinking water.


one of a finds: kamba sisal baskets

Bawa La Tumaini in Kenya, which translates to ‘Wing of Hope’ in English, buys raw materials and pays only women to produce products such as baskets, jewelry, etc.

By marketing and managing the goods so they can be delivered to customers and retailers, Bawa La Tumaini is a bridge to greater prosperity and education for many families in Africa. In the process, they educate women on issues of equality and provide the financing needed for them to become independent with 75% of the proceeds going to the tribe.

Most aspects of hand-made African art pieces have significance and here, the green fabric lining represents the earth and the orange represents the sun.Bawa La Tumaini works with many independent village-based groups whose members work from their homes then meet weekly at a central location within the village to bring in the products they have been working on, and to be briefed or debrief on production.

These small producers are geographically spread out and usually each tribe has its own specialty—ie, different tribes specialize in different products or techniques.

Traditional basket weavers who live in the semi-arid region of the South Eastern province of Kenya, the weavers of the kamba baskets are The Ladies of the Kamba community.

Once The Ladies finish weaving a number of baskets, and a quality control team does its work, a different group sews the lining inside. This invites more than one group to the process—so the positive economic impact can be shared with as many families as possible.

One of a Finds original works are offered one time only as a limited edition for collectors and enthusiasts—the kamba baskets are sold as a set of 2, one of each, and have a release of 200.

Note: this one of a find will be available mid-October.