Kiondos are part of the traditions in Kenya since they are an indigenous tradition to the Kikuyu and Kamba tribes. Handwoven with sisal and food grade plastics, 80% recycled, Mifuko’s products are created as a sophisticated blend of traditional Kenyan craftsmanship and contemporary Scandinavian design.
Mifuko is World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) certificated and, in partnership with local women’s self help groups, they promote small workshops in cities and rural villages for weaving kiondos. Through this groups it’s possible to employ not only slum youth but also people with disabilities or with economically disadvantaged rural backgrounds.
The design company brings a real, concrete change in the lives of the women and their families of rural Kenya. That is so inspiring to us at DOME that we want to share their stories with you all. Let’s meet some of the artisans that work for Mifuko.
Jane is an experienced Kiondo basket maker, she learned the skills and techniques from her mother at 18 years old.
Jane has a small shamba (farm) where she raises poultry and sells hens and eggs. Along with farming she basket weaves. As it is so flexible Jane can run both jobs at home and combine income from different sources. Jane’s future dream is to have a bigger poultry farm and she thinks that Making Mifuko Kiondos will help her reach it.
Josephine Mumbi Kile
Josephine is chairwoman of an artisan group. She has been weaving baskets for more than four years now and loves working for Mifuko. Josephine weaves her kiondo baskets in the morning for an hour, then does her homestead chores and weaves again in the evening. Besides providing for the everyday needs of her family and paying school fees of her children. Working in the group allows her also to plan her future, for instance having a savings account for retirement days.
Mary started last year weaving Mifuko Kiondo baskets and quickly proved her talent. She weaves at home when she has spare time, with the earnings she can afford schooling her children and is able to save for a flock of chickens. Mary has also started giving small loans out to her friends and earn an interest. She enjoys the weekly meetings with her artisan group – ladies always have a lot of things to chat, right?
Mary is 55-years-old and has nine children, people around her admire her hardworking spirit and brilliant farming skills.
Mother of three children, Rose weaves Mifuko Kiondo baskets for more than three years. For her the weekly artisan group meetings are great opportunities to strengthen and unite the whole village community. Mentioning the goat that she has bought (and it’s shelter) brings her a big happy smile. She is so proud. Her extra income coming from weaving Mifuko Kiondo baskets made this possible. Can you guess what’s the goat name? Precisely, it’s Kiondo. Rose’s objective now is to have a fine herd of goats in her garden, we think that it won’t take long until she reaches this dream.
We could go on and on with stories that show us the tremendous capacity of these women for overcoming challenges. They are, all without exception, an inspiration to us. Therefore in March, the month of International Women’s Day, we declare ourselves to all the women we admire.
Special thanks to Mifuko for sharing these stories with us and allowing us to be be part of this positive cycle of change and awareness.
Photo credits: Heléne Wikström
Looking for more information about Mifuko kiondo baskets? Check this blog post.
In case you are curious to know the inspiring story of how Mifuko was founded check this article.
Want to be part of the change too? Check all available Mifuko products here.