Deaf Kenya Artisans Get the Chance of a Lifetime

Deaf Kenyan Artisans

Deaf Kenyan Artisans Make Beautiful Jewelry

OneMaker empowers women in poverty who are vulnerable to exploitation. As a tangible expression of God’s love, OneMaker provides opportunities for them to develop their potential and earn income through education, vocational training, and business ventures.

In 2011 and 2012, OneMaker has had the privilege of providing business consulting, design, and incubation services to Sasa Designs.

Sasa Designs participated in its first trade show January 2013. They also plan to start branding their jewelry with hand-stamped brass tags soon.

Sasa Designs’ Business Manager says, “[Wholesale customer name] now has three of our items and is likely to add 1-3 more in this next round of product selection – they continue to be a great partner thanks to you!” – February 6, 2013.

OneMaker helped launch this business with DOOR International in response to the overwhelming poverty among Deaf people in Kenya. The Deaf in Kenya are often poor, marginalized, and oppressed.
You can purchase jewelry made by these artisans at

With an estimated unemployment rate of 85% among Deaf Kenyans, few will have an opportunity to discover their potential, work in dignity, or earn a fair wage. Many have lost hope. Some Deaf women, believing they have no other option, have resorted to prostitution to earn income. One artisan in the group has a friend in exactly that situation. She hopes that one day this business will give her friend a way out, a way to earn income in dignity.

In addition to the challenge of finding work, Deaf girls and women are often victims of sexual assault. Because they have limited ability to communicate with police or others, perpetrators prey on them. Other Deaf people speak of feeling isolated or even being oppressed by their families.

This business provides hope, empowerment, and fellowship to the Deaf. Sasa Designs gives these artisans the chance they’ve been waiting for – the chance to learn new skills, to discover what they are capable of, and to feel productive as they make beautiful pieces of jewelry. The income an artisan earns gives her a way to help her own family. She can save for her own dreams for herself and for her children. She can send her children to a good school and provide better nutrition and healthcare for them. As she comes to work each day, she also enjoys the fellowship of other Deaf artisans. I continue to be touched be the words of Nancy, the Team Leader. She lost her hearing when she contracted meningitis at 8 years old. Because she had learned to read and write some by then, we are able to communicate by email. She writes, “hallo. today busy preparing necklaces and earings … hoping that everything will go well even my quantity and oversee will be reality. God will open a big door for this bussines so that they will be many customers who will be able to buy our jewelry.,i believe that SASA DESIGN will change many deaf lives.”

Read about why this business matters to one Deaf Kenyan artisan

Sasa Designs 2013 Look Book

OneMaker had the privilege of helping to launch Sasa Designs, a jewelry artisan group in Kenya that gives ten Deaf artisans the chance of a lifetime.

See Sasa Designs 2013 spring/summer Look Book! Purchase retail or wholesale online.To see designs provided by OneMaker and read about the design process, go to The Design process.

Shopping for Raw Materials in Nairobi, Kenya

Shopping for Raw Materials in Nairobi, Kenya - Nancy's First Trip into Nairobi from Rongai

To read an update on the project and see photos of artisans and Sasa Designs team members go to Update on Sasa Designs in Kenya.

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