kazi means employment in swahili. with a population in excess of 1 billion and an underemployment rate of 80-96%, sub-saharan africa is confronted with an unemployment crisis that has kept much of the continent in poverty over the past century. with few living wage jobs available, kazi sees the chance to turn a problem into an opportunity: an opportunity for countless people to find meaningful work and make dignified contributions to their communities.
kazi firmly believes that everyone deserves to make a fair income to support themselves and those around them, no matter where they are in the world. and this can be best achieved by creating employment and economic opportunities in a global marketplace.
kazi has been able to create employment for 4,575 artisans from rwanda, uganda, and ghana and to increase their earnings 5x. the positive knock-on impact has touched more than 36,137 family members and 100,000 community members. together, let’s support kazi to create scalable and sustainable employment opportunities.
location - rwanda, uganda, ghana
materials - raffia, sweet grass, elephant grass
craft - traditional basket weaving
"kazi's model is based on strengthening marketplaces in africa that drive long-term positive economic impact."
honoring traditional handcrafting techniques
early on in their careers, kazi's weavers learn how to grow & harvest their own materials. that way, once they advance their weaving skills and save up enough money, they can employ people in their communities to help harvest the fibers on their behalf as they weave.
women for hundreds of years have taught their daughters this age-old weaving process.
to create a shape, artisans tightly wind fibers & secure them with tiny stitches, gradually generating shapes and patterns as they work.
the piece takes form, eventually reaching its final shape. it embodies skill, love & artistry.
more about the materials sweetgrass & raffia & how to take care of their products.
discover our kazi collection
all pictures and information in this article were taken from kazi's official website. illustrations made by yvonne rausch.