Kenana Knitters started in 1998, the primary object being to help rural women find some much needed income by utilizing their spinning and knitting skills.
The group buys homespun wool produced locally. The wool comes naturally in cream, browns and grays. Part of these Creatures’ charm is the many different shades of wool, the same as those of the multi-colored flocks of local sheep! Colors are obtained from dying the wool with traditional plants, propagated and grown in our garden so as not to impact adversely on the environment.Kenana Knitters provides a safe working environment away from the demands of domestic life. Babies and toddlers are welcome, so women who would normally be working at home can also join the group. The group also provides a number of facilities and services for the women: lunch is cooked every day and is free for all women present. A series of health clinics is run covering everything from HIV/AIDS to Family Planning and homeopathy. These clinics serve not only to treat the women but also to educate them so that the women are well informed and more able to look after themselves and their families. There is a small (but rapidly growing) library available for the women to access containing mostly books on important subjects such as nutrition and healthy eating.
The group works on a piece-rate basis. This allows the women to work at their own pace, and they are paid accordingly. It also allows for flexibility and the women can work at home or at the workshop depending on the other pressures on their time.
Most importantly, Kenana Knitters gives rural women in Kenya the independence of an independent income, and savings accounts at the Knitters means that the women don’t have to hand over all of their money to their husbands but can save it for important purchases and the occasional treat.