It’s been 4 1/2 years since I first went to Kenya. One year since I had the dream to make a significant impact there through Intrinsic. 6 months since we officially became a company. 4 months since I set off to Kenya to launch the project. 3 months since returning with the first batch of laptop cases. And 2 months since our online store went live.
To all the friends of Intrinsic, I want to say a very humble and grateful “Thank you.”
It certainly has been an incredible journey so far, and we’re just getting started. There’s been ups and downs, and new challenges and growing opportunities every day. But the reason I believe that Intrinsic is a dream worth pursuing is the evidence of the impact we’re already having. I want to share a small section of an update report I received from our Kenya staff earlier this week. This is a brief background of one of our artisan groups in Kibera, called “Tumaini”:
Tumaini group began a couple of years back and was founded for a basic aim of creating employment to unemployed women who wanted to better their lives. These women were involved in sewing various products that they sold and earned something at the end of the day. It began with 22 members, all of whom lived in Kibera.
Their chairman at that time, Mr. Madete, was a good person who fought for all the members’ success. After getting their first donorssponsors from the embassy of Norway, Mr. Madete abandoned the group with almost all the funds. The other members of the group were left with almost nothing to sustain neither the group nor themselves. There was nothing they could do to Madete because he was more learned than all the other members so all the members feared him. This incidence led to a number of members abandoning the group because they saw no future at the group meaning they were hopeless.
In August 2011 when the group was introduced to Intrinsic, the group had only 8 members. At intrinsic, they saw a bright future and were full of hope for a better tomorrow.
“Tumaini” in Swahili means hope. Tumaini hand-embroiders 80% of all the cases that we receive. Before, they struggled to get by day to day. Now, they have a promising and sustainable future through Intrinsic. Not only can they provide for their families, but receive enough of an income to save their money in hopes of starting their own businesses in the future.
So to everyone who has purchased a case, to everyone who has shared our story with someone else, to everyone who has contributed your time, resources, skills, and finances, and to everyone who has given your encouragement and support – thank you. I am so thankful that you have chosen to be a part of our story in transforming lives and communities. May you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your loved ones.