In response to the challenges our partners in Africa are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic, Swahili Modern is contributing $10,000 to create an Artisan Relief Fund. We are giving small grants directly to artisans and small artisan groups to help those in need.
By making a donation to the Artisan Relief Fund, you can provide additional support to hardworking men and women in nations across Africa. 100% of donations go directly to artisans in need, in addition to our own contribution.
Update: As of June 21, 2020, we have donated $6575 to 20 artisan groups. We've also raised an additional $1750 from generous donations, and $4174 through the sale of face masks, to help further extend our relief program.
Donations range in amount from $5.00-$100.00. Make your selection below!
The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting life for people around the world. Stores have closed their doors in response to public safety mandates, billions of people are taking shelter at home, and nations have slowed the flow of products through their borders and ports. Read below to learn how the pandemic has affected the operations of our partners in Africa, and how the grants can help.
How has the pandemic affected your family?
"My family has been really affected, especially me putting food on the table, and now business is very low." - Nana-Yaa from Accra, Ghana, Handcrafted Jewelry
"It’s been a very difficult time during this pandemic. For our family which mainly depends on the proceeds from the products that we make, we had to scale down a lot of things. We were forced to close down one of our shops which was on a rental property. We also had to ration the little food supply that we had to last us longer. This pandemic also affected our charitable programmes, we had to temporarily discontinue the support we offer to some families and neighbors due to low income." - Magoso School from Nairobi, Kenya, Children’s Charity
"Shortage of funds for food, to support my children and to cover other essential expenses which makes us merely survive on the small money we get." -Belita from Kitui, Kenya, Sisal Weaving
"The situation is wanting, at the moment we are forced to have one meal in a day, in order to be able to support our parents who rely on us." - Richard from Kisii District, Kenya, Soapstone Sculpture
"Very badly since this was our only source of living. I have two children in universities and the last born in secondary school, but are learning online, which is very costly." - Lucas from Nairobi, Kenya, Wooden Serveware
"Due to the government orders “stay at home” I and my family went back to the village, where our lives have changed. I am unable to provide for the basic needs." - Richard from Nairobi, Kenya, Wood Carving
"It has affected the business and that has made survival difficult." -Lilian from Kisumu, Kenya, Recycled Art & Cards
"Paying house rent and workshop rent has now become a problem." -Stephen from Nairobi, Kenya, Drums & Woodcarving
"We have continued to produce after closing 2 weeks but don’t have any orders. Income for 2 months has been negligible." -Dawn from Lusaka, Zambia, FREE Women Jewelry
"Everyone is back at home, with no work income is down to 25 percent." -Tom from Nairobi, Kenya, Recycled Metal Garden Art
"Because of COVID19 people are suffering. There is no food nor any money to go to hospital." -Fatuma, Handcrafted Baskets from Kenya & Uganda
"Not enough money to cater for daily expenses." -Peter from Nairobi, Kenya, Calabash Gourd Instruments
"At the onset, with the first four cover-19 cases in Senegal, I had to close my atelier as most of the team came to work by local transport. Since March 11th we have been supporting the people in the villages with weekly food supplies." -Fatou from Dakar, Senegal, Baskets
"Since we depend on tourist who are not coming at this time, the business has truly gone down, thus there is no incoming income at this time thus live has become difficult in family." -John from Nairobi, Kenya, Recycled Metal & Beaded Art
"Due to the pandemic, the production of the workshop as well as the sales has scaled down, this has greatly affected my source of income. It has therefore become hard to sustain my family with basic needs since the flow of money has greatly been reduced. Secondly, I was supporting my elderly parents at home, this has greatly reduced and I am struggling to meet their basic needs." -Beatrice from Molo, Kenya, Karunga Women's Group
"We have been unable to cater for house rent, household bills and school fees needs." -Symon from Nairobi, Kenya, Jewelry
"Because our cash flow has been affected, our livelihoods have been affected." - Fulera from Accra, Ghana, Handcrafted Jewelry
How will you utilize the relief grant?
"I will buy raw materials and start production." - Nana-Yaa from Accra, Ghana, Handcrafted Jewelry
"When we receive this grant, we will, first, add more food supplies. We will also use some of it to support some families that are very disadvantaged. It will also help in supporting our artisans that suspended their production because of the pandemic." - Magoso School from Nairobi, Kenya, Children’s Charity
"To buy food, masks, sanitizers for the weavers and give them some amount to support their very essential expenses. Before the pandemic struck, the funds we received from your orders had assisted many of the weavers to be able to support their families, pay for fees for their children, provide food for their children and cover other necessary expenses." - Belita from Kitui, Kenya, Sisal Weaving
"All of us will be very happy and appreciate for the grant, because it will keep us surviving. All artisans in my team, mostly relied on Swahili orders to meet their daily needs like, food, school fee and medication." - Richard from Kisii District, Kenya, Soapstone Sculpture
"At the moment I will use it this time to stock heavily and probably if the funds allow me I put another small different business which I might name it Swahili Enterprise." - Lucas from Nairobi, Kenya, Wooden Serveware
"I will help my artisans to provide for their families and my family too." - Richard from Nairobi, Kenya, Wood Carving
"To share with my group members to help us start small businesses for survival. I want to start small grocery shop since the art business is quiet to help cater for basic needs." Lilian from Kisumu, Kenya, Recycled Art & Cards
"Funds will help me pay rent, buy food. I will also support artisans who I work with." -Stephen from Nairobi, Kenya, Drums & Woodcarving
"To distribute to the 13 women currently involved in the project, to keep them eating and keep their spirits up." -Dawn from Lusaka, Zambia, FREE Women Jewelry
"To keep my boys busy at the workshop while they earn living. Can create new samples at this free time." -Tom from Nairobi, Kenya, Recycled Metal Garden Art
"I will use the money to buy food and order some more baskets." -Fatuma, Handcrafted Baskets from Kenya & Uganda
"To help my family, artisans and those who are needy in our community." -Peter from Nairobi, Kenya, Calabash Gourd Instruments
"To sustain my family and also the families of my workers who are currently not working due to this pandemic." -John from Nairobi, Kenya, Recycled Metal & Beaded Art
"The funds will be used for buying and distribution of basic foodstuffs to the affected artisans in the group so as to sustain them during this hard time of the pandemic, it will also help in buying materials for sewing of face masks which will be distributed to the vulnerable members in the community as well as artisans in the group. Additional funds will be set aside to procure sanitizers and other detergents that can be used for hand washing so as to help prevent the spread of COVID-19." -Beatrice from Molo, Kenya, Karunga Women's Group
"The grants will assist in catering for the household bills, pay school feeds and uplift business operations." -Symon from Nairobi, Kenya, Jewelry
"To cover operational costs, wages, utility bills. Even though the pandemic has affected the craft industry badly, I am hopeful for innovative greater times ahead." - Fulera from Accra, Ghana, Handcrafted Jewelry
Artisan Images in Order of Appearance: 1) sisal artisans from Kitui, Kenya 2) soapstone artisan from Kisii District, Kenya 3) Nana-Yaa from Accra, Ghana 4) children of Magoso School from Nairobi, Kenya