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Products that tell a story

"Hadithi" means something like "a story" and that is exactly what the various products tell of the organization "Hadith Kenya". From colorful sisal baskets to jewelry made from pearls and paper to cute safari animals: every product tells the story of the woman who made the product. In total, the organization today represents and supports 40 women's groups in southeastern Kenya, who lovingly create the products by hand.

Colorful sisal baskets through to pearl and paper jewelry from Southeast Kenya

The women's groups come from the Kasigau region, which lies in southeastern Kenya between the Tsavo East and West National Parks. Many families here are dependent on agriculture and the "Hadithi" women are mostly part of an agricultural community. But especially in times of climate change, in which heat droughts are becoming the norm in the region, women and their families are increasingly affected by crop failures and are therefore prone to financial bottlenecks. This is exactly where “Hadithi Kenya” comes in. With the proceeds from the sale of the handmade products, the women secure an alternative and sustainable income to farm work.

"Outside of the basket weaving group I'm a farmer. Here in Taita we're experiencing a lack of rain which is a real problem for farmers like myself. I joined so I could provide for myself rather than being reliant on others. Here we don't just help each other with the basket weaving but also with life advice. We have a wide range of ages that all have their own questions, the old help the young and vice versa.” – Julia, Lukundo Basket Weavers.

The baskets of Hadithi Kenya
Julia from Hadithi Kenya

Hadithi Kenya can put an end to environmentally harmful practices

Another advantage: In order not to have to compensate for the financial bottlenecks caused by crop failures in other ways, environmentally harmful practices such as deforestation and poaching are put to an end. Instead, the women learn the sometimes centuries-old traditions of handicrafts and continue them. Also network with other women. In this way, “Hadithi Kenya” is already helping around 1.150 women to become financially independent.

With the proceeds from the products, the women secure an alternative income

With this income, the women can mainly support their families. Most of the money, if not all, is used to help keep families healthy, send the children to school, and make medical visits possible. In addition, the women network with other women on site, where they can pass on their skills or learn new skills. That makes them happy, proud and self-confident. A win-win-win situation for everyone.

"My greatest achievement is putting my 3 girls through high school with the income I've made from basket weaving. They all have high ambitions now: one wants to be a journalist, one wants to be an accountant and the other a teacher. It makes me very proud." – Hannah Paul - Rukanga

"I married my husband in 1979 but I've been widowed for 8 years. The basket weaving group has helped me remain more financially stable. With the money I get from selling baskets I was able to pay my children's school fees and buy them uniforms, as well as buy water tanks and solar lights for my home.” – Teresia Mulinge - Kisimenyi Basket Weavers

Lisa helped set up the Good Travel Blog and will write for us as a freelance author in the future. She is passionate about traveling and dancing around the world with a small ecological footprint.


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