Show, Tell and Sell

Show, Tell and Sell :: Global Bag Project :: Kenyan BagsWe wheeled the display shelves to the ‘soko’ (market spot) to take part in the sales organized by AIU women’s fellowship. On the shelves were bags of all kinds made by global bag project ladies. We had two goals to accomplish today, to create awareness about our ministry to women and to sell bags.

At GBP Kenya, we believe that vulnerable women are resourceful and can learn and produce high quality products. So we no only use statistics and women stories but we also offer highly competitive quality products. We want the buyers to buy our products because of the quality workmanship and usefulness. Two things happen  when you buy a bag from us; you will be pleased to be part of a solution to poverty realities in our context  by providing income to women who make bags as well as walk away with a well-made-bag. Our visit to the ‘soko’ expose us to AIU community that is composed of young business studies students, seminary students, faculty and staff of the university as well as owners of small craft businesses.

 

Show, Tell and Sell :: Global Bag Project :: Kenyan BagsPart of our key targets therefore is to create awareness about community development as mission and women ministry. Being an alumni as well as part-time faculty member already opens for us a wide opportunity to get audience as I talk about Global Bag Project. It is exciting to answer questions about, why women? why bags? why social enterprise? So whether we sell all the products on this day or not, we will have told the story.

The story of God faithfulness and of this wide-open opportunity for work and ministry among vulnerable women. We did more of show and tell.  Maybe we will show and sell a little more on another day. For now, we do not loose hope!

Mary O.

Every African HandBag Has A Story

African HandBag Has A Story :: Global Bag Project :: African BagsMeet Jambi, or Jane as we know her. Jane came to the Global Bag Project in 2011 through Wairimu (pronounced, Wa–r–ee–moo), a friend from church. An accomplished seamstress, Wairimu teaches sewing skills to the new GBP Africa handbag sewers in the sewing room at Africa International University (AIU), our home base in Nairobi, Kenya. Once a week, or as funds allow, Wairimu gives sewing lessons to the four women who came to us in March after a voluntourism group donated 8 new sewing machines to GBP.

Jane told me she always wanted to sew, but she never had the opportunity. When Jane stopped going to school at 14 years old, she became a house worker. This provided her a home and a small wage. I do not know why Jane could not finish her schooling, but most likely her family did not have the money as Jane is the middle of 10 children.

Jane was married, but her husband died two years ago, leaving her to provide for her three children, James, now 19 and twins, Daniel and Christine, 15. Prior to coming to GBP last year, Jane worked in gardens to sell vegetables, but she did not hesitate to take the opportunity to learn to sew and fulfill her dream of becoming a seamstress.

Today, Jane walks 2 hours each way from her home to the GBP sewing room where she cuts fabric to make small kanga african handbags. She takes the fabric to the Kijiji Curio Shop located on the AIU campus and sews while assisting customers of the Guest House. But, on Wednesdays she spends the morning with the other women and Mary Ogalo, the GBP Project Coordinator in fellowship, prayer and bible study. This time with the other women is very special, not only to Jane, but to all the women when they encourage one another as single mothers, coworkers and friends.

Join us in October to meet Jane and the other women of the Global Bag Project. Take it from me, you’ll never be the same….I’m not!