The Village Workshops was founded by Lindi, a third generation Kenyan with grandparents from South Africa, UK and Ireland. Having grown up in Kenya she now spends most of her time in Ireland but travels back home frequently where she works on her social / environmental enterprises that support marginalised Kenyan women.
Most recently The Village Workshops have partnered with the Hadithi Crafts and are thrilled to be able to help with it’s mission to support the traditional basket weaving communities of the Tsavo region in Kenya. This Community Based Organisation works with over six-hundred women, nurturing their traditional weaving skills and supporting them in finding markets for their baskets. Capacity building and quality control are essential in the growth of the industry so they are working on training programs and better infrastructure. They are also actively searching for ways to showcase these traditional artworks around the globe and to tell the stories of the resilient weaving women and their incredible artistic talents.
The projects are located in Tsavo National Park area in Kenya and due to it’s remoteness, the people of the area have little or no means of income given that the region suffers from year-round drought. Families rely largely on traditional farming practices, which are becoming more and more unrealistic as the climate changes and the ecosystem degrades. Local farmers continue to illegally clear forested areas in order to produce charcoal to sell as firewood or to build their own homes. This practice leaves the soil unsuitable for farming, and when the rains do come, the topsoil gets washed away, leaving the earth barren with little chance of recovery. Given that the community lacks environmental education and has few income alternatives, day-to-day survival is itself a difficult task and investment for the future a pipe-dream.
The Village Workshops mission is to offer these communities access to trainings and new skills and link them to foreign markets in order to promote alternative ways to create an income. By providing a different revenue stream, the locals no longer need to cut down trees or poach wildlife as a means for survival, meaning that the fragile ecosystem in Kenya can be conserved and protected.