08 December, 2009

Beatrice Jahenda

Contentment: Beatrice Jahenda

Most of the women in the WEMA group have a viewpoint that things need to change in Kenya. That THEY have to change. They have ideas, insights and plans to get Kenya to the place in which it should/could be in the future. Beatrice says none of that. She says instead that 'Kenya is good' and that she is appreciative for the ARV (Antiretroviral drug) that the US provides but would not seek to ask for anything more. Her quality of life has improved drastically since she is fortunate enough to be taking them. Even after living 20 years in Kawangware she says that she never expected life to be easy and that there certainly was and would continue to be challenges. Beatrice accepts the challenges, hardships and life in Kawangware as it is for she is content to have life itself.

Rebah Nyarozo


Entrepreneur: Rebah Nyarozo


Rebah spends most of her day making the paper beads but when asked about other work she instantly sits a bit taller and explains that she has a small scale business selling ground nuts. She smiles and you can see the dignity that she gets from providing for her 8 children all alone. Two of these were her brothers, who has passed away but now stay with her and are raised by her. She tells me that before the post election violence she ran many small businesses but they were taken away. But then her face immediately transforms as she changes the subject and needs to explain to me that sometimes she gets worried when she gets sick. Often she is unable to take care of all the children and provide food, shelter and school fees. She then worries that when she dies, which she knows will come due to the infection, who will be left to take care of them. Her face alters again and a look of peace comes over her and she says 'I live longer with God, I know this' and 'maybe i start new business'.

Grace Akinyi


Perseverance - Grace Akinyi


Hired in 1997 as a health promoter for the Congo region of Kawangware, Grace still retains that title today. A hard worker, now widowed, has 3 jobs, with 6 children who rely on her and a few of which are infected with the epidemic that has taken flight in Kenya. HIV/ AIDS leaves the children to suffer, according to Grace, because of the stigma that is still attached to being infected and how it is passed. In the villages women are believed to be carriers/transmitors of the disease and often when they go to bury their loved ones in the place of their birth, their families turn their backs on them. Grace explains to me with a pause and hesitation that she believes it is this turning away of those in need, that directly relates to child labour and the prostitution that exists. Two things that no one likes to discuss or will claim exists but is prevalent and undeclared. Yet another repercussion of poverty. But Grace keeps going. She does not complain or act despondent but shares in such a way that you know in her mind there is no other choice but to persevere, hoping, knowing, that for her children it will be different.

19 November, 2009

See the Product

Our sustainable necklaces are all handmade by the women of Kawangware using beads made of recycled paper. Choose from a variety of bead sizes, colors, and lengths. Or buy more than one and layer them! This necklace features a variety of our paper beads in a fashionable long length and comes in 4 colours. Perfect for looping and layering!

Photography - Laurel Dailey
Model - Kassi Tompkins Gray

See the Product

Our sustainable necklaces are all handmade by the women of Kawangware using beads made of recycled paper. Choose from a variety of bead sizes, colours, and lengths. Or buy more than one and layer them! This necklace features a variety of our small recycled beads and comes in five colours. Each bracelet features 3 strands of our Kenyan recycled paper beads, handmade by the women of Kawangware. Can be worn alone or collect a few and layer them for a unique look! Comes in four colours.

Photography - Laurel Dailey
Model - Kassi Tompkins Gray

See the Product


This woven scarf features multi-colored stripes and be worn in a variety of ways. Makes a great gift! Comes in seven colours.

Photography - Laurel Dailey
Model - Kassi Tompkins Gray

See the Product


Our sustainable necklaces are all handmade by the women of Kawangware using beads made of recycled paper. Choose from a variety of bead sizes, colors, and lengths. Or buy more than one and layer them! This necklace features a variety of our paper beads in a medium-to-longer length and comes in 4 colours.

Photography by Laurel Dailey
http://www.laureldailey.com
Model - Kassi Tompkins Gray

See the Product


Our versatile Classic Scarf is made from a luxurious cashmere blend and can be worn in a variety of styles. Comes in six colours.

Photography- Laurel Dailey
http://www.laureldailey.com
Model - Kassi Tompkins Gray

See the product

Our sustainable necklaces are all handmade by the women of Kawangware using beads made of recycled paper. Choose from a variety of bead sizes, colors, and lengths. Or buy more than one and layer them! This necklace features a variety of our paper beads in a fashionable long length and comes in 4 colours. Perfect for looping and layering!

Photography - Laurel Dailey http://www.laureldailey.com/

Model - Kassi Tompkins Gray

18 November, 2009

See how they work


The recycled paper beads are made by cutting old magazines, rolling them into an appealing shape, putting glue on the end, and then coating them with varnish to give them a shine and resilience. After the varnish dries the beads are sorted by color until they are strung into bracelets or necklaces. They are then tagged with the name of one of the workers so that individuals who buy the product can come to this website and learn more about that person and their story. At Asante Sana, we believe this connection between the individual hand making the goods and those buying them helps to facilitate a cycle of empowerment, dignity and generosity for all involved.


Asante Sana!

Florence Muhonja


Joy: Florence Muhonja


Her smile is the first thing you notice and the second is her contagious laughter. Both are prominent as you speak to Flo and both are continual. Even when discussing her past and present situation her smile never waivers and neither does her unparalleled joy. Originally from Western Kenya, her position in Kawangware consists of being a wife, mother, Health Community Worker, WEMA group leader and most importantly she says a follower of Christ. Flo lives with only the memory of her three sisters that have passed away and after the post election violence a year and a half ago she has seen more than her share of hardship and suffering. But despite all that still grasps on to hope for herself and her family as well as her country. She sees Kenya's problems rooted in Tribalism and selfishness and only sees life improving if all Kenyan's unify and simply love each other. As one of the leaders of the WEMA group she continues to bring forth a spirit of unity and selflessness, naturally wrapped in a smile.

Rose Adhiambo


Her story to be released later.

Anne Karanja


Her story to be released later.

Allan Obande


His story to be released later.

Martha Wanjiku


Her story to be released later.

Beatrice Jahenda

Satisfaction: Beatrice Jahenda

Recycle bags, tie and dye, paper bags, paper beads, watch straps are just a few of the things that Beatrice has a skill for. Most of the women when discussing Kenya, the post election violence, life in Kawangware, etc they have a viewpoint that things need to change. That they have to change. They discuss ideas, insights and even 10 step plans to get Kenya to the place in which it should/could be. Beatrice says none of that. She says instead that 'Kenya is good' and that she would not ask for anything of the US but instead is appreciative for the ARV (Antiretroviral drug) that they provide. Quality of life is better for those fortunate enough to be on them. After living 20 years in Kawangware she says that she never expected life to be easy and that there certainly was going to be challenges, but she is satisfied with those for despite them and in the midst of them she is grateful to have life itself.

17 November, 2009

Florence Nyangasi


Stay tuned for her story.

Margaret Ngina


Stay tuned for her story.

Rebah Ngome


Stay tuned for her story.

Grace Akinyi

Perseverance: Grace Akinyi

Hired in 1997 as a health promoter for the Congo region of Kawangware, Grace still retains that title today. A hard worker, now widowed, has 3 jobs, with 6 children who rely on her and a few of which are infected with the epidemic that has taken flight in Kenya. HIV/ AIDS leaves the children to suffer, according to Grace, because of the stigma that is still attached to being infected and how it is passed. In the villages women are believed to be carriers/transmitors of the disease and often when they go to bury their loved ones in the place of their birth, their families turn their backs on them. Grace explains to me with a pause and hesitation that she believes it is this turning away of those in need, that directly relates to child labour and the prostitution that exists. Two things that no one likes to discuss or will claim exists but is prevalent and undeclared. Yet another repercussion of poverty. But Grace keeps going. She does not complain or act despondent but shares in such a way that you know in her mind there is no other choice but to persevere, hoping, knowing, that for her children it will be different.

Rebecca Muthoni


Stay tuned for her story.

Mercy Nangila


Stay tuned for her story.

Hannah Wariimu


Stay tuned for her story.

Nancy Wambui


Florence Kaseyi


Stay tuned for her story.

Simon Ndambuki



Stay tuned for his story.

Olga Anyango


Stay tuned for her report.

Jescah Khasoha


Stay tuned for her story.

Benna Nabwire


Stay tuned for her story.

Lucy Lukuru


Stay tuned for her story.

Elizabeth Kasyoka



Stay tuned for her story.

Evalyne Amume


Stay tuned for her story.

Jane Muhonja


Stay tuned for her story.

Beatrice Nasore



Stay tuned for her story.

Aidah Khavengwa


Her story to be released later.

Lucy Kalegi




Her story to be released later.

Priscilla Gimoso



Penina Ogoma


Her story to be added later.

Rebah Nyarozo

Entrepreneur: Rebah Nyarozo

Rebah spends most of her day making the paper beads but when asked about other work she instantly sits a bit taller and explains that she has a small scale business selling ground nuts. She smiles and you can see the dignity that she gets from providing for her 8 children all alone. Two of these were her brothers, who has passed away but now stay with her and are raised by her. She tells me that before the post election violence she ran many small businesses but they were taken away. But then her face immediately transforms as she changes the subject and needs to explain to me that sometimes she gets worried when she gets sick. Often she is unable to take care of all the children and provide food, shelter and school fees. She then worries that when she dies, which she knows will come due to the infection, who will be left to take care of them. Her face alters again and a look of peace comes over her and she says 'I live longer with God, I know this' and 'maybe i start new business'.

16 November, 2009

Margaret Gwetega


This Artists story to be added later.

Prischillah Amollo


The story of this artist to be added later.

Roger Miller Onyango


The story of this artist to be added later.

Judith Muhonja


The story of this artist to be added later.

Judith Makungu


The story about this artist to be added later.

Mary Bisase


The story of this artist to be added later.

Working together


Friends, relatives, neighbors, strangers, working together.

Wilfrida Mutakale


The story of the artist to be added soon.

Working side by side and sharing stories


The women have the good fortune of sharing stories of joy, trouble and opportunity while they work together.

Roseliter Mambwa



The story of this artist to be loaded soon