tHE kIONDO PROJECT
The Kiondo Project supports women in Tharaka Nithi Kenya who have in chosen to not support Female
Genital Mutilation (FGM) for their daughters, and instead send them to an Alternative Rite of Passage (ARP). The ARP was founded by Aniceta Kiriga in 1995. Aniceta reaches over 250 girls between the ages of 10 – 16 annually, educating them on self-esteem, women’s health, and sex education. This project provides the mothers with the resources to start their own small Kiondo businesses. A Kiondo is a basket typically woven from either sisal, sisal and yarn or crochet with yarn. We help the mothers by providing them with the yarn and assisting them with color combinations that may be more appealing to our market. We encourage the women to be creative with their designs and maintain their traditional motifs. We also provide the women with solar lamps so that they can work at night if they choose. Once the kiondo is complete we buy it for a fair price. Proceeds go to community projects.
Because of this project, many girls stay in school and many mothers are proud that they can produce an income by doing what they love.
This project is also part of the Global Artisans Initiative (GAI). GAI strives to empower artisans and their families through the promotion of their handcrafts, which support community well-being and strengthens cultural heritage. They engage the Madison community with artisans from around the world in collaborative projects and a horizontal learning exchange.