Enkiteng is our flagship program operating in 2 subsistence farming villages in Kenya, where local seamstresses teach participating women how to sew on treadle or electric sewing machines (depending on access to electricity).
In 2011, we launched the program in Enoosaen – a remote Maasai village in Transmara District, Narok County in Kenya. In 2012, we expanded the Enkiteng program to Nyeri in Central District. In 2015, we partnered with Global Connections Kenya to launch a sewing and knitting cooperative with women in Nyamira County.
Women in our Enkiteng Program learn how to sew first by making our design-patented Enkiteng Bags which are re-usable cloth gift wrapping bags that were originally designed to serve as an eco-friendly way to wrap presents. Over the years they have been on the market, they have morphed into so much more! They are being used as travel bags, storage for jewelry, shoes and many other uses. They are fast, flexible, and easy to use – as well as fun to give – and re-gift!
As the seamstresses become more confident, they make Enkiteng bags using locally sourced fabric (called Kitenge) that they purchase on the Kenyan market. This is a very important step in the program as they
- support their local economy
- become more confident (making an investment)
- learning small business skills (investment and profit, product development)
- learn how to sew other things such as knapsacks, tote bags, wrap-skirts, and other products
- learn how to sew school uniforms that they can sell in Kenya, becoming independent from our program