ANDREW MUTISIA

In 2007/08 during the post-election violence, Andrew and his wife Annah went with a church group to an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp. They saw many people who had no work but found some making jewellery. The couple decided to start something that would bring hope and income to those in the camps. Annah was working in Fair Trade at the time. She approached one of their clients in Austria to buy jewellery from Kenya and sell it in Austria. One artisan they had known in the past had just started doing brass jewellery. Together, they did some samples, sent them to Austria and this client placed the first order. When Annah and Andrew saw that there was potential and demand for the product, they founded Bawa Hope (In Swahili, it means “wings of hope”).

 

Since 2008, they’ve been working with clients in Austria, Sweden and the U.S. who they mostly met at different trade fares. The first five years were tough for different reasons including the European financial crisis which reduced business significantly. Annah and Andrew feel rewarded when they see their impact on artisans who are now able to take care of their families, open bank accounts or even to acquire assets.