Zuri Watoto Wote

“Tuko Pamoja”, We are Together….moving ahead full force, full spirited, full hearts!

Posted in Uncategorized by Lynn Ouellette on 06/09/2012

Tuko Pamoja Business Card

The Tuko Pamoja project to create a sustainable income source for women’s artisans group whom we come to know and love in Kenya by creating a U.S. market place is moving ahead wonderfully as planned! With the help of some generous donors to raise the seed money,  the first round of orders have been placed and the women are working on their crafts.   LLoydie is headed off to Kenya next week with her young group of summer travelers with part of her itinerary being to pay for and pick up all the wares before she returns back to the U.S. Lloydie and Jen worked REALLY hard this spring putting all the business plans together and doing all kinds of leg work including creating the lovely brochure for the project below:

Tuko Pamoja brochure–part 1

Tuko Pamaja Brochure–part 2

You will note if you read the brochure that we have the next year mapped out with events planned in various places in the country–these are craft selling events. I hope to combine my own with a slide show, educational event about Kenya and AIDs orphans and maybe something else artistic like showing photographs. So LOCALS SAVE THE DATE OF OCTOBER 13th–here’s your opportunity to purchase those beautiful baskets, Kibera cards, that lovely jewelry you see me always wearing!!   All five of the U.S. TP board members will be meeting in September to organize the crafts and send them off to the respective places where the events will be hosted and work on future plans for TP. This coincides with the annual fundraiser for Nyumbani in Washington DC which is a very festive event that also serves as a reunion for KEST travelers so it will be a few days of all things Kenyan–a time for socializing, working and planning for the future and re-experiencing the highlights of the best experiences of the work in Kenya.  I have to say when this passionate, full of ideas group gets together there is a synergy that is like nothing else I’ve ever experienced.

The five TP board members, Lloydie and Jen of KEST, Deb who I traveled with last year, Karen who has traveled to Kenya in the past  brings excellent business expertise and I will be returning to Kenya next January with some special plans for our TP women’s groups. We are always bursting with ideas but we know that some of the plans include some courses on finance and savings, another art exchange with Kibera paper ( an an event which I absolutely loved last time), and it goes without saying that we will celebrate with tea and lots of singing and dancing. I hope that I can interview  (video) a few women so that you too have the honor of knowing them a bit better and realizing just what amazing and resilient women they are–they will touch your heart too. We will of course also be traveling to all the Nyumbani sites and being with the children and I will work with Lilian in my volunteer psychiatrist capacity so the Tuko Pamoja project will be a significant focus but certainly not the only focus. We will have many, many  plans as always! But for the children who are lucky enough to still have mothers….the best may to take care of them is to empower their mothers.

When Lloydie returns from Kenya this summer we will probably start counting the days until we all return to Kenya on January 17, 2013.  It warms my heart to know that she is there with her group of young travelers this summer but it’s so sad not to be going too! I gave up on making a list of telling her who to hug for me and just told her to hug everyone. I also told her to take a big deep breath of fresh Kenyan air  as she listens to the children sing under the starriest of  skies in Nyumbani Village because that is the most magical experience on earth for me and I’m sure my heart will feel full even across the globe when she does.

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