The project will facilitate production of 250 bags by December 2017 that will be sold in the local and international market with support from Lutheran World Federation.
40 year-old South Sudanese mother of 6, Agnes Abalo has been making tote bags for close to a decade.
She is one of the 14 refugees that has just completed a 2-week training on design and stitching of fabric bags through ‘Mifuko Project’, an initiative of Heshima Kenya through UNHCR.
The project will facilitate production of 250 bags by December 2017 that will be sold in the local and international market with support from Lutheran World Federation (LWF).
“I have learnt so many new things in two weeks from bag design, patterns and details,“ Abalo says.
Ms. Abalo is a member of RefThread, one of the livelihood groups in Kakuma camp that are supported by UNHCR and LWF.
While stitching away at one of the tote bags, Agnes admits that through earnings from the group enable her to buy food, clothes and learning materials for her children. She remains optimistic that ‘Mifuko Project’ will open up new opportunities for their group.
“I started making bags in 2008 after being trained by LWF and am feeling more confident after attending this training by Heshima Kenya.” Agnes adds.
The bags produced during the initial two weeks of training will be exhibited in Paris –France in September while the mass production of handbags will begin in October 2017.
The training is part of a livelihood initiatives by UNHCR, LWF and Heshima Kenya that aims at opening up local and international markets for refugee products (bags) through value addition.