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Mifuko artisans

Josephine

Josephine  is a skilled woman who has been weaving Mifuko’s baskets for more than four years in her women’s group. The group consists of 28 women, who Josephine consider both as friends and co-workers. Her days are quite busy as besides weaving, she has to do household chores. She usually starts her mornings with weaving for an hour, then does her homestead chores and weaves again in the evening. The extra income from working for Mifuko enables her to buy household items such as food and clothes, but also helps paying for her children’s school fees.

Florence

Florence is not only talented in weaving baskets:  her main profession is tailoring dresses and other clothes. Her other passion is her vegetable garden, which she hopes will be one day as healthy and well nourished as her friend Josephine Mwanzia’s. The next investment in expanding her garden into a farm is buying a cow and a goat next year, so she is saving up most of her income. Florence’s favorite colors are sky blue and white, while her favorite meal is rice and beef stew.

• Born in 1980

• Family: Two children

Eunice

Eunice is a mother of five children who keeps a small grocery store where she sells fruits and vegetables. She uses part of the additional earnings from Mifuko to give tithes to the church and she will buy land in the near future. Her dream is to open a bigger grocery store some day. She looks up to a lady called Agnes who is a well known local business woman. Eunice's favorite color is yellow and purple, as you can tell from her dress. Her favorite meal is Githeri, a local Kamba dish.

• Born in 1970

• Family: Five children

 

Veronica

Veronica is a talented singer. When she isn’t tending her beautiful garden with spinach, tomatoes and kale or doing house chores, she attends the singing group of her village. She looks up to the chairlady of her group named Felister Muoto. Locals in her village say that Veronica is very hardworking, especially with weaving baskets.The income from Mifuko helps her cater to her homestead needs and daily fees for her children.  Her favorite color is chocolate brown while her favorite meal is ugali, cabbage fried with tomatoes and cornmeal.

• Born in 1975

Rose

Rose is a talented singer and sings in her local choir as her main hobby. During her free time she cleans up her homestead, tends to her farm and reads the Bible. Rose loves the colors pink and white, and adores her favourite food Ugali, Cabbage fried with tomatoes. She has had seven children, but unfortunately one passed away. Her friends and family say her most valuable quality is giving. She uses her income from Mifuko to give offerings to her local church and to buy supplies for weaving.

Faith

Faith is acknowledged by her family and friends for being a very hardworking and skilled farmer in her village. She grows maize and beans in her farm. She is talented in singing, and she plans to join her local church choir. Faith’s favorite colors are white and blue, while her favorite meal is chapatti and beef stew. Her role model is a local lady from her village who is known to be a talented farmer. The extra income she earns from Mifuko helps her pay the school fees for her children, and to save the rest for later use.  

• Born in 1986

Jacinta

Jacinta is known in her community as a woman who loves preaching from the bible. She is a talented singer and enjoys singing in her local church choir. Her favorite colors are black and white. Jacinta’s role model in life is a Tanzanian music artist called Rose Muhando, who has produced a lot of gospel songs in East Africa. Her favourite meal is a local Kenyan dish known as Muthokoi, which is made of maize and beans. Weaving Mifuko baskets has taught her commitment to her job.

• Born in 1978

• Family: Four children

 

Rose

Rose has been weaving Mifuko baskets for over six years now. She tends to her farm and other chores during the day and weaves her baskets at night, since she has been able to buy a solar panel that gives light in the dark hours. She can pay the school fees for her three children and still cater to her homestead, while her husband is currently unemployed. Rose gets on very well with the women in her group, fully enjoys weaving baskets, and looks forward to more orders from Mifuko in the future.

• Born in 1969

• Family: Three children

Dorothy

Dorothy has been weaving Mifuko baskets for over three years. She is happy with the progress in her life since she started working for Mifuko. From her earnings, Dorothy has started a chicken farm and plans on expanding it. She is now able to buy chicken food, cater to her children’s school fees and ensure her homestead needs. She is planning to buy a cow in the coming months. She is looking forward to getting more orders from Mifuko, and says she enjoys working with her fellow 30 group members.

• Born in 1966

• Family: Seven children

 

Esther

Esther is a widow, who has been weaving baskets for Mifuko for over a year and a half in her artisan group. She worried about managing her homestead needs after the passing of her husband, but with the new circumstances provided by Mifuko, she is now content and happy and says her health has improved. She weaves the baskets at around noon or later at night, after finishing her homestead chores. With the money earned from her crafts, she buys her daily essentials such as food, clothing and other homestead needs.

Catherine

Catherine knows her special skill is generosity and her friends agree. Her family and friends admire her humble and kind hearted nature. In her free time she likes to spend time relaxing with her family. Her favorite color is red because she loves how vivid it is. Besides weaving, she is talented in hairdressing –  she plaits braids and small cornrows. Her role model is a local Kenyan music artist called Peace Mulu who sings gospel music. Working at Mifuko has taught her responsibility and she loves weaving and and and socialising with other women in the village.

Esther

Esther is the oldest basket weaver in her group. She is 74 years old and has 6 children. She enjoys doing little chores, like sweeping her homestead. Her favorite color is purple, and she loves it because of it is a royal and attractive color. Her favorite meal is chapatti: rice, cabbage, carrots and tomatoes. Esther’s role model is one of her daughters, who is a teacher in a local secondary school and her name is Jacinta Mwongeli. Esther's best personal quality is love. Her family and friends love her caring and wise nature and character.

• Born in 1944

Mary

55-year-old mother of nine children Mary has a good sense of business; from the money made through weaving, she has been giving small loans out to her friends, and earned some extra from the interest. Her favourite color is blue, and she loves eating ugali and cabbage or kale.  Her role model from her village is a headteacher, who works at a high school called Syeluni Secondary School. Mary has a special skill in farming and considers it to be her personal strength. People around her admire her hardworking spirit and brilliant farm.

Agnes

Agnes has lots of cattle, and has a special skill for farming. People in her village know she is hardworking and they admire the love she has for her farm. To relax she tends to her homestead and spends time with her husband. Her hobbies include studying the bible, and her favourite meal is white rice and spinach. She looks up to her husband, who encourages her to work hard. Her husband Jackson Mutuku is a builder of houses and other buildings in their village.

• Born in 1958

• Family: Seven children

Catherine

Catherine has a talent and passion for farming, and has found ways to irrigate her crops despite the harsh weather conditions in her village. She looks up to a woman named Mary Martin, who is a business lady in her local area. She enjoys singing in her free time to relax, and tends to her farm of French beans, kale and spinach. Her favorite color is blue and all its different shades. Catherine is very responsible, and her friends and family love her for her kindness. At first she didn’t know how to weave, but she has been taught the skill by other women.

Winfred

Winfred is known as Winnie in her local village. Her hobby is cooking and her favorite meal is chapatti and stew. In her free time she enjoys spends time with her children, often helping them with their schoolwork. She is a talented singer, and she sings in her local church choir. Winnie's favorite colors are sky blue and black. She considers a business woman in her village, called Monica Tom, to be her role model. Winnie is known to produce the best baskets, since she’s been weaving for a long period of time.

Felister

Felister is many things besides a talented basket weaver: a tailor, a singer and a generous mother admired for her kindness, big heart and hard-working spirit. During her free time she enjoys making clothes for her children to sharpen her skills and to relax. She looks up to a tailor in her village named Rhoda Mathuku, who is known for her tailoring skills. Felister is a talented singer, and sings in her local church choir. Her favorite colors are green and yellow. She tells us her favorite meal is Githeri, which is a mixture of fried beans and maize.

Dorcas

Dorcas is a widow and a mother of five children in the small village of Mavindu. During her freetime, in order to relax after a long day,  she likes reading the Bible and singing. She is a very talented tailor and handcrafts small seat covers for her own household and friends. Her favorite color is sky blue; seeing it brings her joy, because it is so bright. Her role model is a teacher from her village named Mr. Gangi. As her favourite meal, she states ugali and stew. Dorcas says her best quality is being a mediator for people with quarrels or chaos in the village.