As well as creating products in our workshop in Kasungu, we also work with people in the more remote villages surrounding the town that are part of MicroEnterprise Africa’s seed planting project. The people in these villages find it harder to get into town to seek work, and we learned that the months leading up to harvest time are the hardest for these communities – and grows harder if the harvest is low.
Crochet is a common skill in Malawi, and we have put together a group of women highly skilled at this to create some of our products. This work complements MEA’s programme, which sees the charity provide training to the farmers, as well as seed, fertiliser and support with the marketing of their crops.
MEA’s farming field officers also deliver crochet hooks and cotton rope to the villages by motorbike for us. There is no electricity, or running water, in these villages, so a simple crochet hook is the perfect tool with which to earn extra income in these areas before crops are ready to sell.
Chrissy Luke is the chairwoman of the Chipulumutso Knitting Club. A beneficiary of the MicroEnterprise Africa programme, she became involved with KHAMA after she spotted Elaine wearing one of our crochet samples on a trip to the village. Always in high spirits and with a great sense of humour, she immediately told us that her designs were better, so we asked her to show us what she could do. And she was right, when we next visited she’d created a design we really love, and are now planning to produce in bulk for our clients. She now supervises women who work in the village.