“We make these baskets to uplift our families. We want to be independent. When someone buys a basket from us they can be proud because of all of the women they are supporting, but also proud because of the superior quality and the natural materials.” - Christine
The women of Kitui, weave baskets with soul. This women-led co-op of 180 artisans support their families by expertly weaving baskets using the fibers from the local sisal plant. Whether they are widows or single mothers, weaving is their main source of income, enabling them to send their children to school and to provide for themselves.
Their strength and resilience are clearly apparent however in meeting with them, they voiced a feeling of seeming invisible. They have been weavers their entire lives, selling to international companies but have never been recognized personally for their craft.
“Today, with Obakki visiting us here in Kenya, I finally feel valuable. I feel like a real person and I am proud of who I am as a woman. I finally feel seen as an artisan, not as a money-making machine.” - Margaret