Kilimanjaro Kraft (KJK)’s suppliers are hand selected for their talent and skill, but also because they have little or no access to opportunities that would provide them and their families with a decent living.
Our goal is not to simply help them ‘survive’ but to equip them for a real future. We are already seeing lives transformed by the work of KJK and its supporters, for relatively small amounts of money.
One of KJK’s fashion designers, Atemo is a talented Congolese tailor living in Nairobi, Kenya with his wife and seven children. As a refugee, his economic situation changed overnight when he had to flee the Congo and become a ‘survivor’. When KJK selected Atemo to become a supplier, he couldn’t hide his excitement. “It’s a great honour to be part of this project.”
Like many refugees, Atemo also has a big heart for transforming the community in which he lives. “I hope through this project I will be able to support my family here in Kenya and also create employment to other young refugees.” Today, Atemo employs two of these young refugees and plans to employ five more by the end of this year.
Since its inception in early 2017, KJK has engaged 3 suppliers and purchased two sewing machines (the picture above) to help with start-up costs. We plan to purchase three more by the end of 2018. The average cost of sewing machine is $250.
2. Access to Education
The team at Kilimanjaro Krafts focuses on giving young people, living in poverty and coming out of war zones, access to education, to provide for themselves and their families.
We know from development experts that long-term community transformation is dependent on a strong and growing education base. These young people are the leaders of today who will bring about a change for tomorrow.
Eca Mabanga, originally from the Congo describes the heartache of having no opportunities to further his study because of a change in life circumstances resulting in poverty.
“My father died when I was 16 years old. After his death, I struggled to pay my school fees. My mother and I tried to do some farming jobs to finance my secondary school. God helped, and I did finish. I would have liked to go on with studies at university, but because we were poor I could not afford it. I hope to get school sponsorship from some charity, and if I do, I am sure I will attend university, even if am older. I am now 34 years old, married a father of two girls and a boy.”
Kilimanjaro Krafts (KJK) committed to cover the full cost of Eca’s education. He now studies Civil
Engineering at Hope Africa University in Burundi. The approximate cost to educate someone like Eca and change the life and opportunities for an entire family, and eventually a community, is $1,500 per year. KJK would like to expand its education program with your support.
Eca, his wife and 3 children in Congo Eca at Hope Africa University
3. Reducing Infant Mortality Rates in Burundi and DR Congo
Due to unavailability of incubators at the Van Norman Clinic in Burundi uses packing boxes and light to keep preemies safe.
Kilimanjaro Krafts donates money to a project run by Dr Marx Lwabanya Itabelo who works at the Van Norman Clinic in Burundi. Funds go towards:
Infant mortality is rare in western countries, but it is unacceptably high in developing countries like Burundi. This is due to the lack of access to both education around newborns, and equipment like an incubator for when something goes wrong. These programs are targeting prevention of ‘preventable’ infant deaths, and help equip dedicated and skilled doctors like Dr. Marx Lwanbanya.
Kilimanjaro Krafts created and funds the Tumaini (Hope) Sports Academy, a not for profit organisation run by leaders in the refugee community, that use sports and music to nurture closeness between different ethnicities, and help promote peace. These activities have been highly successful in contributing to the wellbeing of young refugees living in the harsh environment of a refugee camp, where there are otherwise few social activities.
The physical and mental benefits of sports have been well documented, and most of us would instinctively agree that music has a positive impact on emotional health. However, neuropsychiatrists have now found that music is the one activity that lights up all areas of the brain in a PET scan, and is wired into our brains as being associated with ‘safety’ – one of the most important healing emotions a refugee can experience.
Kilimanjaro Krafts supports peaceful pro-democracy initiatives, both directly and indirectly. If you are interested in knowing more about these initiatives, please don’t hesitate to contact us.