Meet Our Kenyan Makers
Mercy House has six artisan groups in Kenya that create custom product for our online stores and Fair Trade Friday. These groups began as an overflow from Rehema House, the maternity homes we support in Kenya. We realized early in our endeavors of rescuing pregnant teens, we also needed to empower their families with dignified jobs so that we could help break the cycle of generational poverty. In 2018, we launched our first wholesale line in an effort to provide more sustainable work.
Miujiza means “miracles” in Swahili and that’s exactly what this group is. This group is comprised of the mothers/ grandmothers of some of the teen moms from the maternity homes.
Against all odds, these women have become master weavers and are creating gorgeous rugs and throws. Each throw takes five days to make! Their lives are changing in significant ways with this sustainable work and new opportunities. Many of their daughters are now able to return home because of what God has done.
Three mothers/grandmothers make up the ceramic-side of Miujiza. The process of turning red Kenyan dirt into gorgeous glazed ceramic beads is intricate and requires a lot of hard work. This group is still growing, learning and troubleshooting this complicated process, but we are thrilled to offer their first beaded bracelets in our online store.
Three women are able to make 45 beads a day and the process to make one ceramic beads takes about two weeks! We are so proud of their skill and hard work and cannot wait to see where God leads these new artisans.
Street Hope is made up of sixteen precious women in Mathare slum who begun their lives as artisans on the street. They were totally homeless due to difficult circumstances, many orphaned at an early age and doing whatever necessary to survive. One by one, they learn to hand stitch little felt hearts and moved into their own little homes.
We are excited to implement a new literacy program in 2018 so each woman can learn to read. God is doing beautiful things in their lives.
The lovely women of Have Hope from Kariobungi slum named their Bible Study group in 2010 “Have Hope” because they didn’t have any. They are slowly and faithfully working their way out of poverty, one piece of jewelry at a time. They are diligent to save money as a group and have started multiple small businesses. We are so proud of them.