“Needles and Thread Instead of Guns and Bullets.”
KISANY has meticulously trained more than 200 vulnerable women as professional embroiders, tailors and weavers in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Kenya. All of these women are at risk, many have been victims of war torture, forced migration, starvation and sexual violence. Working with KISANY allows them to escape an uncertain and dangerous existence, provide food and a home for their families and send their children to school.
KISANY is changing the lives of African women through providing skills training and work. In helping these women achieve financial independence, KISANY gives them control over their lives and a secure place in their community.
KISANY annually creates luxurious lines of hand-embroidered Belgian linens and exclusive hand-woven products, sold through its website and at private sales across Europe. KISANY also collaborates with leading designers and companies to provide bespoke products. Artisans spend many hours training and practicing their skills to deliver a very high level of quality. LIBECO Belgian linen, renowned for its quality, is shipped to the atelier sites in East Africa to be expertly made into table and bed linens, bags, dishcloths and luxury accessories. Cotton and wool are purchased and dyed locally with GOTS and natural dyes.
Changing the lives of african women
All profits from KISANY’s sales are directed to the organisation’s artisans and workers and to the day to day running of the project. KISANY employees are paid a living wage, well above the local standard. In addition, profits are used to provide skills training, healthcare checks, education, community building and housing for all employees and their families. Interest-free loans are available to employees and the women have opportunities to train and empower other women in similar projects across Africa.
Over the last ten years, thanks to a dedicated team of volunteers, the three founders, and loyal customers, KISANY has made a substantial impact – significantly improving the lives of women, their families and their communities across East Africa. KISANY allows these women to take control of their lives and offer a future for their children.
The women working at KISANY have a strong work-ethic and many have sharp business sense. It is the goal of the women and the founders that KISANY become a self-sustaining longterm business that will offer work and support to women for generations. With sustainability as a primary objective, KISANY has become a trademarked enterprise and applies a professional structure to its governance, stimulating collaboration amongst stakeholders to further the brand.
The women who make KISANY have been marginalised, devalued and subjugated. However, these women have actively chosen to change their lives, for themselves and for their families. Through KISANY they are able to take back the threads of their lives and once again determine the design of their own future.