Carving Wood for Life
WorldCrafts and Mother Care Handcrafts give skilled artisans hope in Kenya
One man’s sojourn in a neighboring country during World War I continues to change lives in Kenya now and for eternity. Mutisya Munge, a member of the Kamba tribe, picked up the art of wood carving while living in the neighboring East African country of Tanzania nearly a century ago. When Munge returned to the Kamba community with his acquired skills, he eagerly introduced his own wood-carved crafts to his people.
For a fee of one goat, he began teaching people in his community how to make useful, striking carvings out of wood. In these early days, the carvings were sold to colonial whites.
Today, wood carving is passed down from one generation to the next through the work of Mother Care Handcrafts. It is a hands-on learning experience, where a master will sit down with an apprentice and personally guide him through the process of wood carving. Before long, the apprentice acquires the skills to create his own carving, which he will hand over to the women for the finishing of the product.
By employing women to finish these crafts, Mother Care offers an alternative to prostitution, which previously had been a way of life for some of them. On any of the wood-carved products that Mother Care artisans craft for WorldCrafts, up to 30 women will receive employment, which will sustain them and their families. Overall, each product may impact more than 400 families.
The profit from the crafts provides the artisans and their families education, medication, shelter, clean water, food, and clothing. Through this wholesome, creative skill, these artisans receive basic material needs, as well as spiritual blessings and growth.
Mother Care ministers to these artisans with the message of an eternal life that far exceeds the impoverished situation they find themselves in daily. The hope is that in addition to offering these disadvantaged people a means to support themselves and their families, they will also embrace the Christ that promises life abundant.
PDF version of this page.