In 2007/08 during the post-election violence, Andrew and his wife Annah went with a church group to an in ternally 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 wor king in Fair Trade at the time. She approached one of their clients in Austria to buy jewellery from Kenya a nd sell it in Austria. One artisan they had known in the past had just started doing brass jewellery. Togeth er, they did some samples, sent them to Austria and this client placed the first order. When Annah and Andre w saw that there was potential and demand for the product, they founded Bawa Hope (In Swahili, it means win gs of hope ).
Since 2008, they ve been working with clients in Austria, Sweden and the U.S. who they mostly met at diff erent trade fares. The first five years were tough for different reasons including the European financial cr isis which reduced business significantly. Annah and Andrew feel rewarded when they see their impact on arti sans who are now able to take care of their families, open bank accounts or even to acquire assets.
Started at a time of civil unrest and violence, Bawa Hope is the ultimate example of light shining in dar kness. Hope was restored, in the form of a business.