Artisans

These are our skilled artisans who make beautiful baskets.

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.

Alice K. M.

Alice is a very warm personality. She loves chapatti and rice and her favorite color is orange. Alice is a farmer with goats and she has been knitted baskets for Mifuko with Echa Kuoko women’s group since 2014. Alice starts her day by cleaning her homestead and taking the goats out to find food, later in the day she weaves baskets. Alice loves working with Mifuko and plans to open a saving account in the future. The most important thing for her in life is her family.

Alice K.

Before get interested in weaving baskets, Alice weaved ropes for sale to the market. She admired how women in her village weaved baskets and she approached the chairlady of a group called Wendano wa Muthesya. Same chairlady taught Alice how to weave baskets. Salary from Mifuko helps Alice cater for her daily needs and makes it possible to buy gifts for her grandchildren who are living with her. The most important thing in Alice life is her family, especially her grandchildren. Her favorite meals are rice and ugali and her favorite color is purple. She is optimistic about the future and she plans on taking care of her grandchildren until they grow up. Alice is also participates in church activities like singing in the choir.

Anna K.

Anna is farmer of chickens and dairy cows. She sells the yield to her villagers,Easter and Christmas are important selling seasons.. Anna is also self-taught weaver. Currently she is building her house and she is planning to build better shelter for her chicken. Anna loves her job and her family.

Beatrice K.

Weaving has always been Beatrice full-time-job. Before she joined in Kingongi women’s group in 2010, she sells her traditional baskets in the marketplace. Her plan is to open a kiosk for basic home care products and by a cow. Beatrice weaves mostly in afternoon, after she is done with her homestead chores. Her favorite meal is rice and stew.

Carol W.

Carol has a small poultry farm where she rears chicken and eggs for sell. She plans on expanding the farm and building a small house to chicken. She uses her earns to cater for her family needs like school fees and food. Carol was taught how to weave by her mother-in-law, and she has been weaving since 2017. The most important things in Carols life are her job, farm business and her family. Her favorite meal is chapatti and rice.

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. Now she works happily for Mifuko.

Christine M. M.

Christine is a farmer of vegetables. In 2014, her friends taught her how to weave and now Christine enjoys weaving in the Faith women’s Group with her friends. The salary from Mifuko is her main source of income. The most important things for her in life is her family and seeing her children reach their goals. Christine plans to buy a water tank in the future to be able to collect water for dry seasons. She loves all traditional kamba foods like mixture of maize and beans and her favorite colors are yellow and blue.

Dorcas

Dorcas is a widow and a mother of five children in the small village. 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. She is known and admired for her patience and forgiveness, and knows how to live in peace with her neighbors. She loves weaving, and says she uses weaving to ease her stress.

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.

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. She is also able to pay for her child’s education, who is in university. Esther plans to open up a kiosk in the future as a part time business.

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. Esther's best personal quality is love. Her family and friends love her caring and wise nature and character.

Eunice K.

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.

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.

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. She aims to become a strong business woman in the future, and wants to start a hardware business soon from the income she is earning from Mifuko.

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.

Hellena M. M.

Hellena is known for weaving sweaters and especially school sweaters in her small tailoring shop. In 2014 she became interested in weaving baskets and asked her mother in-law to teach her the craft. Now Hellena is in Faith Women’s Group, she waves in mornings after she prepares her children for school and later in evenings before she goes to sleep. Incomes have helped her with school fees and other needs in her home. The most important thing in Hellena’s life is her family. She wants to open a saving account to save up for future needs. Her favorite meal is chapatti and stew while her favorite colors are yellow and blue.

Hellena S.

Meet our artisan Hellena, she is a farmer of cow, peas, vegetables and fruits. She lives in Kalawani village where she is currently building a house. Hellena has been weaving baskets ever since she learning the skill from her grandmother as a girl. Now she’s weaving baskets for Mifuko in Kyondo women’s group. Incomes have helped her buy building material for house. She is also planning to invest in largescale farming of mangoes, since she gets some good harvest whenever its mango season. Important things to Hellena are a healthy life and her family.

Irene W.

Owner of a small business, Irene sells chicken and eggs, starts her day early in the morning. She prepares her three children to school, clean her home, tend her chicken and starts weave at the afternoons. Irene loves working for Mifuko because it has helped raise her standard of living, not just financially but also socially. She has been weaving baskets since 2010. Irene uses her incomes to pay school fees and cater for her home needs. She plans to buy goats in the future. Her favorite meal is rice and stew.

Jacnita M.

As an environmentalist Jacinta collects scrap metal around her village and sells them to small companies which collect metal for re-use and for manufacturing purposes. She is also a skilled basket weaver, she learnt the craft from school when she was a little girl. From her earnings she pays school fees and buys food and clothes to her family. Jacnita loves green color and most important thing in life to her is her family and job.

Jacnita

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.

Jane M. M.

Jane is one of the youngest basket weavers of Nzeeni women’s. She has been weaving baskets for last nine years. Thanks to salary from Mifuko, Jane is able to run a small shop of seats, she rents seats for events like home gatherings. Jane is planning to make her business large enough to host events like weddings in the Kalawani village and even around Makueni County. She says that her business and family are the most important to her in life.

Jane M.

Jane is known in the Kalawani village as a one of the best poultry farmers and the starter of one of the Mifuko's largest women weaving group, Kingongi women's group, with 116 members. She is also a farmer of poultry, oranges, lemons and cow peas. Jane learned the skill of weaving baskets when she was 18 years old. She uses her incomes specifically to buy feeds for her chicken. Jane is happy to work with Mifuko because Mifuko helped build an eco-toilet in her home and from that she gets manure for her farm, also they got her a water tank. The most important thing to Jane in her life is having a healthy life. Her favorite meal is githeri, kales and ugali.

Jane S.

Jane is known as a songbird in her village, she sings in the local church choir. Besides that she is a farmer of oranges, mangoes and vegetables, she sells the harvest in the market. Out season she is a full-time basket weaver in Kyondo women’s group. Janes aunt taught to her how to wave when she was young. She plans on expanding her house by her savings. Jane’s favorite color is black, and she loves ugali and vegetables like sukuma wiki.

Janet N. K.

Janet is a small-scale farmer of vegetables and cereals like maize and beans. In the year 2017 she became interested in weaving baskets and joined to Muuo wa Kitoo women’s group where she learned how to wave. Salary from Mifuko have helped her take care of the daily expenses, especially incomes helps her to take care of her grandchildren. Janet is delighted to work for Mifuko, and looks forward to weaving more baskets. Family is the most important thing for Janet in her life. Janet’s favorite color is green and her favorite meal is rice. She saves so she can open a clothes boutique for business in the future.

Janet N.

Whenever you ask for the best vegetables like kales, spinach and tomatoes in Manyala village, you will be directed to Janet. She has been a skilled farmer for most of her life. The 36-year-old mother of two little boys, learned how to harvest water into a small pond and is able to irrigate her farm even during dry seasons. Farming is one of Janet’s passion and she would probably do it full-time job if she wouldn’t weave baskets for Mifuko. Janet wants to give her boys a good education and that’s why she ask her friend to teach her how to weave baskets and joined in Faith women’s group. Janet loves color blue and her favorite meal is ugali and vegetables like sukuma.

Josephine M.

Josephine is known in Manyala village as owner of one of the best shops in village and a businesswoman. She is recognized for her joyful personality. Working as a full-time shopkeeper keeps her busy, but still she waves baskets at evenings. She uses her earns to give contributions in her Kyama group and cater for some other house needs. Next she like to open a chain shop for her store. Her favorite color is maroon, and her favorite meal is ugali and githeri. Family is the most important to Josephine in life. She wants to be an example to her children and see how they reach their goals.

Josephine M.

Josephine is known as a business woman, she owns a few shops and a farm in her village. Josephine gets up 5am every day to prepare breakfast for her family and to help her children get ready for school. After kids are gone she starts to weave baskets, Josephine has been in the Umanyi wa Muketani women’s group for three years. She plans to open another shop in the near future. Her children are the most important in her life, her favorite meal is githeri and one of her favorite colors is white.

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. Her biggest plan for the future is to open a small grocery store. Before that, she is also going to open a savings account to save up for both the shop and for retirement.

Josephine M.

Josephine is a 69-year-old lady who is always smiling whenever you meet her. Josephine asked a friend whose handicrafts she admired to teach her about basket weaving. In year 2001 she joined the Mutini women’s group. Before she started weaving basket she stayed at home most of the time. She likes to weave in the mornings and afternoon when she is done with household chores. The most important thing for Josephine’s in life is her family and time with her grandchildren. Her favorite meal is rice and ugali and her favorite color is pink.

Joyce D. M.

As the breadwinner of her family Joyce starts her day early. She prepares breakfast for her family, cleans her homestead and goes out to find sisal to knit and weave ropes for sell in the market. Besides she weaves baskets in her group called Faith Women’s group, where she has been a member since 2013. Besides weaving ropes, she has self-taught herself how to weave baskets. Now she weaves at evenings while she bonds with her family and she can take care of the needs of her household. Joyce says that her family and her job are the most important things in her life. In the future, she wants to buy a water tank for water harvest so she can start farming vegetables and sell them together with her ropes. Joyce sings in her local church choir, her favorite color is red and her favorite meal is maize and beans.

Joyce J.

Currently Joyce renovating her house. She tells us that the savings from her earnings have change her lifestyle and her home. Besides weaving she is in her local church choir. She was taught how to weave by her grandmother and in 2017 she decided to start weaving Mifuko baskets in Kitoo Kinyee women’s group. She is optimistic about the future, she plans to start a large-scale farm of vegetables. Joyce appreciate life above all else.

Joyce S.

Joyce used to wave ropes and sell them in marketplace together with vegetables what she plants in her garden. She wasn’t happy to her income, so she decided to request a friend of hers to train her how to weave baskets. Mifuko's salary help her to cater basic needs and to buy a fertilizer for vegetables. In the future, Joyce would like to be able to deliver vegetables she has grown to food kiosks in her village.

Judith M. K.

Judith is a full time basket weaver in Nzeeni women’s group, but in the future she desires to open a clothes boutique, mainly for women’s and children’s clothes. Incomes have helped her cater for most of the needs she has like buying food and paying school fees. She hopes to open her boutique soon, but she wouldn’t stop weaving basket as soon as it happens.

Lucia K. M.

Several years ago Lucia was diagnosed with diabetes. She was stressed about hospital bills because only source of incomes was a small scale farming. Five years later she saw some women in their village weaving baskets and she started teaching herself how to weave. Now a 51-year-old mother of seven, is known as a hardworking in her group Icha Kuoko women’s. She is delighted to work with Mifuko, the income helps with her medical expenses and other household needs. She tells us she doesn’t really have a favorite meal since all her meals are prescribed by her doctor. The most important thing in life for Lucia is peace of heart and mind, but above all, health. She loves red color.

Lucia K.

Lucia is a skilled hairdresser who plaits most of the women’s hair in her village. Currently she doesn’t have a salon, so she mostly does the ladies hair at home. Besides doing hair, she also weaving baskets. She was taught how to weave by her mother-in-law in the year 2000 and she joined Kingongi women’s group. She is saving, to open a salon and buy all the requirements like shampoo, blow-dries and combs and to pay her children high school fees. Lucys favorite meals include, rice, chapatti and ugali.

Lucia M.

Lucia has been a farmer all her life. Most of the time she plants cow peas, maize and beans and since she has owned a small grocery shop, she has sold part of the harvests in her shop. Lucia has also been weaving baskets since 1980’s and before weaving for Mifuko she had sell her traditional baskets in a marketplace. Later she joined a popular Kyondo women’s group. She saves part of her incomes so she could buy a dairy cow and build a shelter for it.

Martha M.

Martha is a skilled knitter of school sweaters and seat covers; she likes to open a small tailoring shop.

Mary S.

Mary, mostly addressed by her by her maiden name Syombua is a farmer of beans, maize and cow peas. She is the main breadwinner in her family. Two of her children are in high school. Soymbua working hard to cater for their needs so besides being a farmer she started weaving baskets in the afternoons for Mifuko in a group called Wendano wa Muthesya women. She learned the skill as a young girl from her mother. Most of the incomes goes to food and school fees. Her favorite meals are rice and chapatti while the most important thing in her life is caring for her family. In the future Syombua plans to opening a cereals shop where she can sell maize, beans, cow peas and some other cereals.

Mary

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. 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. To relax she spends time with her family, and on her hobby, studying finance.

Mirriam M.

Mirriam is a businesswoman who owns a small shop in her village. She has been weaving basket for Mifuko since 2013, in Kithitu women’s group. She learnt the skill from her grandmother. With salary from Mifuko she can cater for her family needs like paying school fees, buying household materials and uniform for the choir. Mirriam saves money so in the future she can buy a plot where she build houses for rent. She is passionate about singing in her local Church. Her favorite color is black and favorite meals are chapatti and mixture of beans and maize. Family is the most important thing in Mirriam’s life.

Monica M.

Monica ,57 years old is sad to tell us that two of her children passed away but she is greatful that she still has three children alive.Monicas passion is weaving baskets ever since she learnt the skill when she was a little girl and even before she started weaving baskets for Mifuko she used to sell her own baskets in the market places either in Machakos or Nairobi city.The business was not sufficient enough so three years ago she decided to join Kingongi Womens Group where she weaves two baskets a week thus earning around two thousand four hundred shillings every month.She is delighted because she can now cater for most of her needs.Besides her job,her family is the most important thing in her life.She is planning to manage her earnings and she is opening a savings account to save up for the near future.

Mueni W.

Meet Mueni, our artisans who is one of the most popular basket weavers in her village.

Peninah K.

Earlier, Peninah sold her weaving ropes at the marketplace. In 2018, she saw women in her village weaving basket and became interested in that craft. She bought some sisal and paper and started teaching herself how to weave. Salary from Mifuko have helped her pay off the loan what she had, and now Peninah is saving to invest in livestock. Her family is the most important thing to her in life and her favorite meal is ugali and traditional vegetables. Her wish is to become known as one of the best weavers and be a big farmer in her village.

Philles K.

Here is one of our artisans, Philles. She is also owner of poultry farm and dairy cow.

Phillis N.

Meet Phillis, one of our artisans. She used to do full-time farming but decided to learn by herself how to wave baskets and join Kithito women’s group.

Phoeth S.

Meet our artisan Phoeth. She is a livestock keeper. She owns chickens, cows, goats and a sheep.

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. Ever since she started working for Mifuko, her view of the future has been getting more optimistic.

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.

Ruth M.

51 years of age,Ruth is a farmer of cow peas.She rises early to prepare her children for school then she goes to her farm to either plough or spray the plants with pesticide then after she’s done she starts weaving baskets.She learnt how to weave ten years ago and she has been in kingongi womens group for the last six years.The mother to six children was taught how to weave by one lady she looks up to named Jane Mutala.Now Ruth is able to weave two baskets a week earning around four thousand shillings every month.In the future she is planning to buy a dairy cow and start selling milk around her neighbourhood.She tells us her favourite meals are ugali and chapatti while she loves colour maroon.Jane is planning to be a great business woman and not just a farmer.

Sabhet K.

Sabeth is a self-taught weaver. She got the interest in craft after seeing some women weaving in the same marketplace where she sold her farm products like cow’s milk. She has been weaving baskets for Mifuko in Mumo wa Manyala women’s group since 2014. Sabeth loves working for Mifuko because it keeps her busy and she is planning to open a saving account to save up for the future. The most important things for Sabeth is her family and their health. Her favorite color is blue and favorite meal is ugali and fried amaranth.

Scholastica K.

Meet Sholastica, our artisans and a grocery woman.

Serah D.

As a farmer of maize, beans and cow peas, Serah was not earning enough to cater for most of the basic needs in her family so ten years ago she decided to start weaving baskets. The mother of seven children tells us three of her children passed away and she helps cater for the needs of her grandchildren. In the few coming months she is planning to open a shop where she will specifically sell paraffin. Most of the people in her village use paraffin on a daily basis so she sees the business as an investment she can make. Incomes for basket waveing have helped her to cater for her needs as she saves up to open the kerosene shop. Serah is 63 years old and she weaves in the Kyeni kya Kyanziu women’s group. Family is the most important thing to her and she says she is enthusiastic about what the future holds.

Syombua K.

Syombua is one of the grocery women in Kalawani market. She sells mostly vegetables like Sukuma, wiki, spinach and cabbages. She started the business because she realized that most of the women in her village needed more vegetables. Sombua had been selling baskets for ten year before se joining to Mifuko as a member of the Kyeni kya Kyanziu women’s group. She is planning to enlarge her shop and make it the biggest in her village. She says family is the most important thing in her life.

Teresia J.

Teresia sells her farm yield, maize, beans, cow peas and tomatoes to the grocery people. she is also farmer of livestock. Teresia became interested in baskets weaving as she followed her mother’s craftwork when she was a little girl. Teresia’s mother teach her to wave and in 2010 Teresia joined Mwikio wa Manyala women’s group and started weaving Mifuko baskets. By weaving two basket a week she earns six hundred Kenyan Shillings a month. Her income has helped her cater for basic home needs and that is why she tells us her job is the most important thing in her life. Teresia sings in her local church choir.

Teresia J.

In Teresia's home church she is known not only for her cheerful but also as a good singer and dancer. She does small farming of vegetables and keeping chickens. Fourteen years ago, Teresia bought weaving materials and learned how to weave. Later she joined in Faith women’s group. Incomes have helped her cover her household expenses. In the future, she wants to build a larger house with her savings. Teresia’s favorite meal is chapatti and fried cabbage.

Susan K.

Susan is a farm of goats, chickens and a cow, she also farms vegetables and cereals. She starts her day early in the mornings by cleaning her household, sweeping her campground and letting her livestock out to find feeds. Susan has been a talented weaver since she learned crafts at the school in 1959, after this, she has gained a lot of experience. Susan loves working at Mifuko, because her incomes allows her to buy more goats and chickens, she plans to buy a dairy cow. Susan’s favorite color is brown and the most important thing in her life is her family and home.

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. 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.