Baskets and Beads Progress Update

When I went to Kenya for the first time in February 2018, I had no idea that my visit there to serve on a mission trip would turn into God’s mission for my life.

When I met the women in Kipsongo slum, my heart was touched and I wanted to do something to help. When Patricia (pictured below) invited me into her hut and gifted me with the bead I’m wearing in the photo and asked for help to pay for her son’s school; I had no idea the chain of events that would unfold

I was awakened in the middle of the night with an idea to buy some beads and sell them with my books when I speak. Baskets and Beads was born with the “book and a bead” approach. I purchased some beads from several of the ladies and brought them back and they sold out. I bought some more and they sold out, then an entire suitcase of beads sold out. In July of 2018 I brought 7 suitcases worth of beads back and began selling those.

This website was donated and a logo was donated (logo pictured below)

Baskets & Beads by Artisans of Kenya

 

THE BIGGER VISION

The bigger vision is to raise funds and buy 5-10 acres of land.  On this land we will build housing for the families and move these women and children out of that slum. The slum is dangerous, violent and destructive.  On the land we will build a farm and the ladies will work the farm.  We will build some housing and the children will all go to school and get an education.  It will create a steady stream of food so they will not go hungry.  The farm will include growing crops, raising chickens for eggs and meat and having cows for milk.  The farm will also create another stream of income and they will be working the farm as a coop and be fully supporting by their own contributions.   This is the “hand up not a hand out philosophy” that will give them dignity and honor in their work.  We are teaching people to fish not providing them fish.

If you want to donate any amount to this project, click on the donate button below.  Your funds will be held in an account that will only be used for the Housing and Farm project.

In order to raise funds I needed a non profit so Dynamic Vision Foundation became a 501c3 non profit Nov 16, 2018. Someone donated the funds to cover the filing fees.

We are working on Fair Trade verification. Baskets and Beads is Fair Trade and Ethically sourced. I buy directly from the women and they earn more than they do in Kenya. They receive the benefit up front for the items they make. We hold a market day when I’m in Kenya and I buy from each lady that is making Baskets and Beads. (See market day photos below)

 

Some of the other expenses we have covered:

  1. Purchase of a sewing machine and someone from Nairobi (8 hours away) to train them on how to make purses that we are now selling
  2. Medical fees for 2 children with serious medical condition
  3. Food packs in November and December 2018 for 35 families (milk, cooking oil, flour, sugar, soap, rice, etc)
  4. Underwear for women and children (35 families)
  5. Swahili Bibles for 35 women
  6. Tools for making jewelry
  7. Beads and other supplies for making baskets and beads
  8. T-shirts for women
  9. Blankets
  10. Other misc supplies

Sewing Machine:

Food Packs and Ladies Receiving

 

In February of this year, I went for my 3rd trip to Kenya. I spent a week with the ladies ahead of the team that would arrive to serve the people of Kitale, Kenya. I took the time to visit their homes and get their stories. At this writing I have completed one post with their stories and working on 20 more. (see Gloria’s story https://basketsandbeadskenya.com/meet-gloria-from-the-kipsongo-slum/).

Baskets and Beads is also part of the Fair Trade Long Beach Retail Collective and Baskets and Beads are on display for sale there. Some funds were used to purchase a shelf and a rack and table for displaying the items, printing of hang tags and space rental fee.(see space below).

Additional expenses include shipping products to shops in other locations (Wisconsin and Colorado) and some travel expenses although the first 2 times I raised funds to go and the second time I received some donations. Plans are to raise sponsorship funding to cover expenses and administrative costs. I am not taking a salary.

This is still very grass roots and we are encouraged by God’s blessings so far and have faith that it will continue to grow and bless these women and their families.

We are eradicating poverty, stopping human trafficking and saving children to provide opportunities for their education, health and safety. We seek any sponsorships, monthly members and in kind donations to move this forward.

Your prayers are also welcome and appreciated.

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