Kenya has a population of more than 35 million people comprising of 42 ethnic groups, each with its own language and culture, as well as Asian, Arab and European Communities, which makes for a fascinating mix of traditions and cultures. Kenya’s multifaceted culture is expressed in different forms, from its people and language, food, music and dance, art, artifacts, theatre and literature to its ethnic values and ethical norms.
Kenya is among the world’s 30 poorest countries, ranking 145 out of 185 countries on the 2012 Human Development Index, and more than one-half of the country’s population lives below the poverty line on less than US $1 a day. Years of drought in this region have had a serious impact on the well-being of children, increasing malnutrition rates, morbidity and mortality.
More than 1/2
of the country’s population lives below the poverty line on less than US $1 a day
drought in this region have had a serious impact on malnutrition and mortality rates
From Kenya: Meet the Artisan
Acacia Creations is a fair trade studio based in Nairobi, Kenya that creates beautiful, eco-friendly jewelry, gifts, and home accents. The group has expanded its reach beyond Kenya, partnering with thousands of artisans in East Africa, Thailand, Vietnam, India, and the Philippines. Acacia Creations aims to help people in a sustainable manner, including by creating jobs, providing training, and giving back to communities through education and healthcare initiatives.
Kenyan wood carvers are recognized worldwide for expertly sculpting art from native woods using sustainable practices. The olive wood tree is sacred to Kenyans and appreciated worldwide for its beautiful grain patterns and durability. Kenyan carvers present the beauty of their natural world in finely crafted decorative and functional art. The artisans, their families and communities benefit greatly from the sale of olive wood products.
Meyelo is committed to empowering artisans with sustainable income through their craft. Their long term investment in helping others is the foundation of their business model. By investing in small businesses in developing countries it brings about social and economic change. Every purchase provides artisans in Kenya with a source of fair trade income, support for their community, and a global platform for their work. Many skilled artisans have limited access to education and economic opportunity. Meyelo provides training programs in business practices to ensure the understanding of the global market. Meyelo works with Maasai villages to provide access to education, water, farming co-ops and medical needs. Every purchase supports their 80 artisan partners, their families, and their communities. By creating sustainable programs Meyelo empowers women, girls and their communities.
HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION
The situation in Kenya concerning human rights is still far from spotless; among some of the problems still faced by the population are: unlawful killings, torture, rape, and use of excessive force by security forces; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention; restrictions on freedom of speech, press, and assembly; forced return and abuse of refugees, including killing and rape; official corruption; violence and discrimination against women; violence against children,; child prostitution; trafficking in persons; discrimination based on ethnicity, sexual orientation, and HIV/AIDS status; forced and bonded labor; and child labor, etc.
Throughout Kenya's history, women have been subjugated to consistent rights abuses while shouldering an overwhelming amount of responsibilities. Although the constitution has established equality between men and women, women still continue to be educated at an inferior rate to their counterparts, increasing their reliance upon men. They are also limited from owning, acquiring, and controlling property throughout Kenya. Violence against women is widespread and results from certain cultural norms, traditions and stereotypes, as well as discrimination regarding women’s role in society. Domestic violence, rape, Female Genital Mutilation, and human trafficking are endemic. Cultural attitudes that believe women incapable of leadership lead to the exclusion and discrimination of women in politics, and women are still faced with discrimination in the economy and workplace.