[By Jill Morley, Karama Co-Executive Director]
Nicholas (one of Karama's artisan partners) worked his way up to production manager at a large jewelry company in Nairobi, Kenya. In 2017, the company unexpectedly closed with no notice to its workers and Nicholas was forced to start over on his own. Utilizing a small business loan, Nicholas began his workshop in a small 6’ x 12’ space with just the basic pieces of equipment and has grown to employ five additional artisans.
Work has been sporadic during the pandemic, so each order is a welcome blessing of provision. In 2020, Karama Collection partnered with Nicholas and his group to create a new product called the Cornerstone Earrings which were scheduled to ship in March, 2021.
Unfortunately, on the morning of the final inspection of the order, our artisan Nicholas was met with tragedy. He awoke to find that one of his jewelry workshops along with 40 other stalls had been lost in a fire in Kibera, Kenya. Fortunately, no lives were lost and no one was injured in the fire. However, Nicholas found his workshop with all of his equipment burned to the ground and a need to rebuild.
Miraculously, the Cornerstone Earrings survived the fire as they were kept inside a metal box in a separate workshop that only suffered minimal damage in the fire. The funds from this order allowed Nicholas to immediately purchase a piece of equipment so that he could keep his workers employed.
Karama Collection quickly reached out to its customers and thanks to their generosity, we've been able to fund the rebuilding of Nicholas’ lost workshop. In just a few short weeks, Nicholas and his workers will have a new place to be able to continue their work. We thank God for His provision and His protection!
The brick shape of the Cornerstone Earrings is a simple, yet profound reminder that Jesus is our cornerstone, the hope and foundation for our lives.
These earrings are made from upcycled brass and plated with 14K gold. Four artisans created these earrings representing 770 total hours of dignified work.
Karama Collection partners with small business owners in Africa + Haiti to create beautiful, handmade products. By shopping ethically-sourced artisan products, Karama customers provide dignified work and support growth in developing economies. We call this the Swirl of Good - meaningful, lovely gifts for customers, job creation for artisans, families and local economies strengthened. As a nonprofit, Karama donates proceeds to Young Life in the communities where artisans live and work.