Women's handcraft producers welcomed to the UK
Shared Interest customer Namayiana has visited the UK to talk
about the work they do.
Namayiana are a Masaai women's handcraft producer group based in
the Ngong area of Kenya. Patterns in their beautiful, traditional
beadwork tell a story about a person's life. The group began over
20 years ago. For the most part, the women could not read or write,
but wished to use the skills they had to care for their children
and the community around them. Starting with just 16 members, they
have grown their membership to 112.
Shared Interest Society is supporting them in this journey by
providing much-needed finance to bring their beadwork to customers
around the world.
This month, two of the ladies from the group visited us in the
UK to talk about their work. Nouason ene Marona, Chairperson of
Namayiana and Catherine Kasao Mututua, Namayiana Project Manager
arrived in Newcastle on March 9 to spend time with the Shared
Interest team. Nouason and Catherine had a packed schedule
including school visits, a jewellery exhibition, presentations to
staff and ambassadors and a presentation to members at our AGM
"We had a fantastic time in the UK. It was great to meet our
investors and tell them what wonderful people they are and what
wonderful work they are doing for us."
Nouason ene Marona, Chairperson of Namayiana
The ladies started their visit off with a trip to Hillview
Infant School in Sunderland where they met with 120 children. The
children enjoyed our film about Namayiana and listened to the
women's story of a typical day and life in Kenya.
Next was a visit to Central Newcastle High School. This visit
was the joint initiative of Central Newcastle High and Shared
Interest where Year 10 pupils had produced jewellery designs which
the women made. Children aged 8-16 years at the school watched our
film and heard about the Masaai culture. Nouason and Catherine
demonstrated making jewellery and offered their jewellery for
During their stay the ladies also gave a talk to Shared Interest
staff and ambassadors, thanking them for their support and offering
their products for sale. In total over £1,000 was made from the
sale of the beadwork.
Nouason said: "We are thankful for all the staff, volunteers,
ambassadors and investors at Shared Interest, without them our
business would not be doing so well."