Kipepeo Designs is a not-for-profit enterprise, selling hand-crafted cards made by impoverished women in Kibera, the largest informal settlement (or slum dwelling) in Africa.
The project aims to empower women living in desperate conditions to be proactive in bringing about positive change in themselves, families and communities.
This is done through education and involving the women in an opportunity for income generation through making greetings cards. By earning a regular salary, the women can provide a better standard of living for themselves and their families in terms of food, accommodation, education for children and even saving a little. Meet the card-making team.
Kipepeo Designs has evolved in the UK through the efforts of Rachel Baughen, a Londoner and trained nurse, who in the course of visits to Kenya became interested in schemes set up to help women in Kibera.
The Kipepeo Designs Trust (Kenya) was set up in 2007. At the end of 2011 Kipepeo Designs became a registered charity in the UK. Since 2010 sales have increased dramatically through the efforts of Rachel with the support of a board of UK trustees.
Now Kipepeo cards are sold through a range of retail outlets across the UK; through church and fair trade groups; and online. Cards are also sold in Australia, the United States of America and Japan.
Income from Kipepeo card sales in the UK is ploughed back into the project, helping to expand this model and change the lives of more women in similar environments to Kibera.