Meet the Ladies...
Click on the video to meet the ladies of Kipsongo. These ladies live in harsh conditions and manage to enjoy their lives and take care of their families, no matter what. The soundtrack on the video is the ladies singing joyfully.
How it All Began...
The Baskets & Beads project was started by Eldonna Lewis Fernandez when she went on a mission trip to Kitale, Kenya in February 2018 and met the ladies of the Kipsongo slum.
The buildings in the slum are mud huts — smaller than a tiny house — no running water - no bathrooms. Most children are malnourished. School enrollment and literacy rates are very low, and adequate healthcare and economic opportunity is severely lacking.
STARTING A BUSINESS!
Creative Entrepreneurs in Kenya
Through micro-loan programs, the ladies have started businesses making and selling jewelry, baskets, purses and other products. Eldonna had the idea to sell the items with her books when she speaks at events and organizations. It has turned into much more with several stores and gift shops purchasing for resale and the formation of the Dynamic Vision Foundation (DVI), a 501c3 non profit whose mission is to help displaced and suffering people.
The ladies receive the benefit of the proceeds up front. We purchase the handcrafted items directly from them and then market to people, boutiques and church gift shops in the US and abroad. The items are Fair Trade (promotes fair compensation, safe and healthy conditions, direct and long-term relationships, transparent business practices, and workplaces free from discrimination and forced child labor) and provides an opportunity to teach entrepreneurship, empower women and save children from a life of poverty.
Your donations and purchases help these women have honor by building a viable business and enables them to feed their families and send their children to school.