Artisans from Kenya
Back to Africa
Back to Africa began in 2008 as an offshoot of Heart of the Bride Ministries, Inc. The primary objective of Back to Africa is family preservation and care for families at risk in Kenya. The artisans, most of whom are single mothers or refugees or both, lived in extreme poverty before they began creating Back to Africa jewelry.
Mama Faith, pictured here, has been working with Back to Africa since 2008 as a bead artisan. A mother of 4, her income from Back to Africa enables her to consistently feed and clothe her children, send them to school, give to her local church, and help her family and neighbors who are not as fortunate. She says, “I have seen God in these necklaces. My husband got saved and baptized! I am a very happy woman. He used to drink and now he goes to church, and helps with the beads.”
The Back to Africa project has benefited more than 400 people. They have seen firsthand how a small paper bead or simple ceramic pendant can profoundly impact a community halfway around the world.
Mother Care Handcrafts
Mother Care Handcrafts helps disadvantaged artisans in Kenya earn a fair wage by using their skills in the centuries-old traditions of carving and basket making. Among the artisans are several women who have been rescued from prostitution, thanks to the jobs Mother Care offers. Sales provide guild artisans a way to feed and clothe their families, as well as affording them an opportunity to hear the offer of eternal life.
Mully Children’s Family
Mully Children’s Family (MCF) created Yatta Vocational Training Centre to restore young women broken by exploitation. Each year, the training center rescues approximately 100 victims out of this cruel bondage. When they arrive at the training center, these women receive counseling and learn vocational skills, computer training, and family care. They are also discipled in developing lives marked by eternal hope.
Young women like Felister Mwikali are taught beadwork, dress making, and design. Felister came to the center after being abused by a man who lured her out of her village with promises of a better life. However, he threw her out of his home when she became pregnant. Upon returning to her family, she was treated with disdain due to her pregnancy, and she was not allowed to attend school.
Because of the help of MCF’s training center, Felister has been able to save money and plans to start her own business.
Through their partnership with WorldCrafts, artisans at the training center earn a fair wage for creating beautiful handcrafted purses and jewelry. The crafter's dignity is being restored as they learn their own great worth.
Deaf people face incredible obstacles to finding work and sustainable livelihoods in Kenya and other developing nations. As part of the larger DOOR ministry (Deaf Opportunity OutReach), Sasa Designs empowers deaf women. These women struggle daily to overcome their physical limitations and provide for their families. Having been trained in beading, knotting, and wire-working techniques, artisans like Nancy and Peninah are now able to provide their families with plenty of nutritious foods, a consistent roof over their heads and education for their children.
Sema of Sema Leatherworks means “to speak” or “to say” in Swahili. The men artisans, who live in Nairobi, Kenya, work four days of the week on the products. They spend the remainder of the week applying their income to improve life for the people. They provide physical needs and offer encouragement and messages of eternal hope.