Artisan Profile - Tabaka - Venture Imports
Extreme destitution spreads throughout the Kisii area of Kenya. School drop outs, unplanned pregnancies (due to prostitution), child labor, unsafe shelters, high death rates, and unemployment are just some of the difficulties the people there face. Holistic support for the poor is needed to break the cycle of poverty and to provide hope for the future.
Tabaka was established to eradicate suffering in this area and provide an opportunity for a better quality of life. Tabaka is a cooperative group of soapstone carvers from the Kisii tribe in Kenya. They believe in empowering their artisans by providing fair wages for their members and marketing opportunities for their products outside of Kenya.
The Tabaka cooperative provides loans, product design and development assistance, and advanced payment for their orders. The artisans are also provided with safety equipment and the opportunity to have health insurance. In addition, they offer basic training for youth who are interested in learning skills for their future.
Tabaka provides a model for the community by encouraging women as well as men to get involved. Tabaka saves 15% of their income to help orphans, widows, handicapped, elderly, and HIV/AIDS victims whether or not they are part of the Tabaka cooperative. In this way, the community also benefits as the group continues to look for new and innovative ways to make a positive impact.
Venture Imports is privileged to partner with Tabaka through selling their uniquely beautiful soapstone craft items. Your purchases ultimately help strengthen the community and help the artisans and their families break the cycle of poverty in the Kisii region of Kenya.
Check out these videos showing the process of producing sculptures from Kisii stone!