A Hand Up for Fairtrade Communities
As part of Fairtrade Fortnight we are encouraging people to Take
a Step and open a Share Account that will provide a hand up for
communities such as those of the Massai women who work as part of
the Namayiana group.
Namayiana are a women's
group based in Kenya that have had a relationship with Shared
Interest since 2009. They produce handmade beaded goods from two
premises in the Ngong area, one in the countryside and the other in
Ngong town. Their office is based in the town; here they carry out
the administrative work and packaging for export, while the
countryside site is used for production and collection of finished
The group uses their facility to provide the women within the
group with pre finance which motivates them to complete the bead
work. They also provide them with training on quality assurance and
Namayiana brings together Maasai women to produce the
handcrafts. Working as part of the group offers them a sense of
strength as well as the opportunity to create a livelihood for
themselves. The women of the group belong to a very traditional
community in which women are generally not empowered. Since working
for Namayiana many of the women have reported that living standards
have been improved and that the money they have made has led to the
development of alternative ways of income generation such as
poultry keeping and irrigation.
The group's term loan enabled them to attend a three-week trade
event in Vienna in 2010. Project Manager, Catherine Mututua
reported on the impact of this event telling Shared Interest that
one woman in the group was able to clear her children's school fees
arrears in September 2010 and another stated that she" felt
financially empowered for the first time" as a result of the trade
fair and the increased business it generated.
Catherine said: "With Shared Interest behind us, we have more
courage to work harder and feel we can go far in our business".
Namayiana feature in our promotional work with The Big Issue so
keep an eye out for them and as always let us know what you think
of the campaign.