Kenana’s journey began in Njoro, Kenya 1998, to help rural women find some much needed form of income using their spinning and knitting skills.
Kenana Knitters was then founded on the premise of changing lives stitch by stitch with the hope to share the stories of rural Kenyan women through their handiwork of unique, hand-knitted creations.
Njoro is mainly a farming area – agricultural work for the men is easier to come by than for the women-folk, yet agricultural wages are insufficient to support large and extended families.
What we produce helps us to support our farming communities here in Kenya and to build a secure future for our children.
Kenana Knitters has continued to be self-supporting knitting co-operative and pays a fair wage. In addition, sale of Kenana products funds a range of welfare projects in Njoro, Kenya.
Knitting is ideal. It requires minimal equipment, can be done in snatches when time permits. When the rains come and the family crops and vegetables need tending, not much knitting gets done, but in times of drought and crop failure, when the family garden is bare of supplementary vegetables, money can now be earned to purchase the necessities of life.
The group generates two forms of income; buying the wool locally then creating more work by turning the wool into marketable products such as toys, gifts, bed-covers, scarves, hats and other accessories.
Kenana promotes the work of other local artisans such as the Ziwani Weavers, based in Nyahururu, helping to bring their beautiful hand-spun, woven shawls & blankets to a wider market.
From Kenya’s knitting base, products are exported directly to distributors such as Kenana UK around the globe. Worldwide sales fund a range of welfare projects for the benefit of the knitters, their families and the wider community which include:
- Eye tests
- HIV/AIDS Counselling
- Friends of Kenana