HOW IT WORKS:
Kianga Project is a socially proactive business focused on improving the quality of life for Kenyan women and men living with HIV. Through partnering with local HIV support groups, empowering them with skill building, and providing markets for their creations, our goal is to help our Kenyan partners live fuller, healthier lives and build sustainable futures for themselves, their families, and their communities.
Kianga works directly with community groups in different neighborhoods around Nairobi through the partnership of City Harvest Ministries. These groups exist primarily for the purpose of emotional and spiritual support of fellow HIV positive members, home-based medical care, and health outreach to their communities. Kianga Project comes alongside these groups and helps to develop an economic component, so that members are able to earn accessory income in communities where employment is difficult to come by. By capitalizing on existing skills and teaching new ones, they work with group members to design and construct jewelry that can be sold both locally in markets as well as globally through our online store.
Kianga pays each group a fair wage for the items they produce, and the profits they make from the sale of the items go right back to the groups. Many times, this could mean emergency funds for fire loss (a common problem in slums), or unexpected medical expenses for group members. They also use some of the profit to help send these gals to school.
WHAT IT MEANS:
Most our Kenyan team members are parents raising several children (and several more nieces, nephews, and grandchildren), and many of them work casual jobs or run small informal businesses to pay the house rent and feed the family. While they unbelievably make ends meet, not much leftover remains for anything else other than the needs of today. Inability to think about the future means the poverty cycle continues.
When groups have the opportunity to earn income from Kianga Project, a lot things can change. Extra income for a team member can mean actually investing in tomorrow:
- school fees for her children (to a great school)
- new glasses that restore her eyesight and allow her to go back to work
- investment in equipment to start a new tailoring business
- savings for a plot of land outside of the slums
Creating new futures- that's what we're about.
When you buy bracelets, YOU are directly helping the people you see here (and even their children and neighbors). And because our team members are entrepreneurs, teachers, and neighborhood leaders, your investment in them means that you're helping to strengthen whole communities.
Let's keep it up!
*Spearheaded by Ben Carroll, Sarah Satterlee, Wade Mackey, Jonathan Lewis. Today Kianga ships from Ben's hometown of Dallas Texas.