We are a social enterprise that facilitates the transfer and preservation of indigenous skills, in production of quality handmade items, for sustainable livelihoods and wellbeing of vulnerable groups. Our activities enhance awareness and appreciation of unique locally made handicrafts.
Formerly known as Cross-Stitch International; the CARAKANA program was established by Her Excellency Mama Rachel Ruto in 2016 in response to a call from vulnerable women, specifically women in prison ,to support them earn a livelihood.
The primary objective of Carakana is to catalyze transformation for vulnerable groups by imparting income generating skills that will enable them live equitable, happy and holistic lives.
Carakana seeks to promote sustainable livelihoods and well-being for vulnerable groups through handmade products while facilitating the transfer of indigenous skills.
By displaying its work, Carakana hopes to enhance awareness and appreciation of quality hand made products.
We have trained over 1,200 women and over 7000 lives in impacted indirectly in the last 5 years. Our clients are;
- 5 Prisons– Lang’ata Women’s Prisons, Kitale Women’s Prisons, Eldoret Women’s Prisons, Shimo La Tewa Prisons and Nakuru Women’s Prisons.
- 21 groups of people living with disability which includes those who are aurally impaired, albinos and those physically handicapped.
- 2 Rehab centers
We have paid out over Kshs.18,000,000 (USD180,000) to the vulnerable groups. We hope to train and transform the live of over 2000 women in the next 3 years.
~ A Message From Our Patron~
“It had always been my desire to have an outstanding hand-made artwork to display in my house. Growing up, I had seen my mother and other women in my village stitch all sorts of handmade products but one was outstanding- cross stitch.
Years later in 1997, I saw a colleague at work working on a piece of artwork, but as I moved closer, I realized that it was cross stitch. This fascinated me because it was different from what I had seen and known. My colleague explained how it was done and I started stitching my own patterns. Later, I also taught a team of young ladies how to cross stitch.
Stitching those days involved a lot of work since one had to read and translate the pattern onto a plain fabric. We invested our time, money and energy and managed to stitch quite a number of master pieces for our homes and as gifts.
With the invention of technology, cross stitch has evolved. This means we can now stitch more in a shorter time, easily recognize mistakes in the stitches and rectify them in good time. The best part is enjoying cross stitching while bonding with family and friends.
We liken cross stitch to God’s work in our lives. Every new pattern is unique and interesting just like we are all unique and special before God. While stitching, you can not tell how the finished work will look like. However, as you continue, stitch by stitch, the pattern slowly starts shaping up and the finished work is truly amazing. In the same way, when we work on our lives despite our shortcomings, God molds us day after day until we become like him.
One thing is certain, by the time you finish your pattern and see the finished product; your life will never be the same again.”