Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Friday, October 15, 2010

Making Products and Money

It’s official. The handicraft industries in Kidong, Kasaani and Mahandakini are operating as successful alternative livelihood options for these three ex-poaching communities. Products from these three communities were accepted into a number of gift shops in tourist resorts in Mombasa late last year. However, the number of resorts which GVI staff approached last year was quite small as the handicraft industries were a fairly new concept for the communities. The rationale was that the industries should start small and if they succeeded, GVI would assist these communities to expand the industries further.

-- Aloe Vera Soap made in Kidong --

Over the past nine months, the communities have successfully supplied tourist resorts in and around Mombasa with a range of products and have subsequently generated incomes from these industries. As such, GVI staff decided that the communities were ready to take on the challenge of expanding their supply to a much greater number of lodges.

-- Bracelets made in Mahandakini --

After another successful round of marketing efforts by GVI staff, the communities of Kidong, Kasaani and Mahandakini recently received the biggest order for their handicraft products to date. A number of products have been ordered in quantities exceeding one hundred which bodes extremely well for the future success of these alternative livelihood industries in these communities. All three communities are very excited about the expansion of their handicraft industries and everyone at GVI is very proud of just how far these communities have developed since GVI first began working with them in 2007.

-- Cinnamon Candle made in Kasaani --

The enthusiasm and diligence the communities of Kidong, Kasaani and Mahandakini have shown in regards to developing their handicraft industries, has also caught the attention of GVI staff and local stakeholders. As such, GVI staff will be presenting products from all three communities at a craft fair to be held on South Coast later this month. If the products prove to be successful at the craft fair, GVI will assist local community members from Kidong, Kasaani and Mahandakini to enter other craft shows held around Kenya throughout the year. Watch this space for an update on the outcome of the craft fair!