A few days ago I came across Swaheelies at the right time when I had just started #MyKenya, I instantly knew – here’s my first post based on a name that everyone should know about.
Swaheelies was founded in October, 2013 by Chania based in Kenya and her partner, Caitlin who is based in New York. Swaheelies is luxury shoe company which is additionally a social enterprise. Swaheelies has committed that with every shoe sold, portions of the profits shall go towards educating Kenyan children. They hope to sell 500 shoes by the year-end and that would enable them to educate 28 children, in the academic term commencing January 2015. By year-end 2015, the target is to have sold 2000 pairs of shoes that will educate 223 children for a whole academic year.
And Swaheelies doesn’t stop right there…
Swaheelies ensure they empower their talented Kenyan artisans, which Swaheelies has recruited to be part of their team, from Kibera. As a background, Nairobi, one of Africa’s leading cities is growing with tourism and industry. The city has a cosmopolitan flair that combines African, Asian, European and Middle Eastern culture. The city reflects the stark contrast of wealth that characterizes Kenyan society. Within this rapid growth, there is still a large population in need. 30 % of Nairobi’s population is living in a section of the city called Kibera.
Kibera is considered one of the largest slums in the world. Over one million people struggle daily to meet basic needs such as access to water, nutrition and sanitation. In this community lacking education and opportunities, women and girls are the most affected by poverty. In addition, Kibera has an unemployment rate of 50%. It is this, 50 % of Kibera’s population that they wanted to aid seeking out those who have a craft that would offer their families income.
Therefore, Swaheelies ensure that the artisans receive above market rate payment for their service and goods – to ensure they may be empowered to not be a statistic but to be conductors of their own destiny.
Swaheelies are available through their website www.swaheelies.com and are delivered worldwide, shipping takes between 5 – 7 working days to most destinations. All African print ballets are 75 USD. As the business expands they are going to have retail stores in Nairobi, Kenya and hopefully London.
Until my next post. Thanks for reading #MyKenya