Kenya is well known for its wildlife, and these Taita ladies work in the heart of the Tsavo where many of them can be found.
ABOUT THE LADIES
The Buguta Disabled Self Help Group was founded in 2009 by people with physical challenges in the village of Buguta. There are now about 30 members in the group, of all ages and sexes.
The Safari Animals evolved around Mama Leah, one of the initial members of the group, in a wheelchair herself. She started sowing Safari Animals in January 2013. Initially it was only Mama Leah sowing elephants though she soon trained five other ladies and together they learnt how to sow the other animals. The Buguta Disabled Group now has its own workshop in Buguta, which they rent with the money they earn from selling these animals. The animals are now so popular that the ladies have hardly been out of work since they started…
Other ladies in the disabled group know how to weave baskets so Hadithi also buys baskets from them. Most of the weavers in the group are mothers of handicapped children.
ABOUT THE SAFARI ANIMALS
These animals are made out of pure cotton Khanga. Khanga is the Swahili name for a colourfully patterned fabric that is very popular in Kenya. Women across villages in Kenya typically sow their clothes out of Khanga, or else simply use the original rectangular khanga material to wrap around themselves as a skirt.
The inside of the animals consists of polyester stuffing and their eyes are embroidered with cotton thread. The animals have not been tested for suitability for young children.
Our Safari Animals are all wildlife that can be found in the same environment where they are made! The elephant, giraffe and vervet monkey are the group’s very own designs, whilst the aardvark, lion and rhino are based upon a Funky Friends Factory pattern. Thanks to these patterns, the ladies have learnt how to make new safari animals very quickly.