Modeliste Magazine

Labels we Love: Mrembo Africa

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Mrembo Africa
presenting Passionate, Creative, and Inspiring Design
mremboafrica.com

Modeliste Mode with Meaning salutes MREMBO AFRICA… Women working together, discovering their strength, empowered with training in skills to create and flourish as artisans, to produce, earn, and independently provide for themselves and their families.

Inspired by vibrant African motifs, Mrembo Africa is creating new and exciting additions to the international world of fashion and decor giving a uniquely African voice and presence to enhance modern designs and current trends. MREMBO AFRICA translates from Swahili to ‘beautiful woman Africa’, a recognition of the inner and outer beauty of African women, of bonds between women across age, tribal, ethnic, religious and national identities, recognizing their common goals and needs, building success and economic independence. Through a program based in specific training to produce skilled artisans, the women of Mrembo Africa are finding strength through social and emotional support, building a sense of purpose, confidence, and hope for the future in the communities of poverty in Nairobi. Native born Kenyans and refugees from war-torn regions of East Africa, the women of Mrembo Africa strive together under difficult circumstances to believe in themselves and build new lives.



This has been the vision of Mrembo Africa since its founding in Nairobi, Kenya in 2016 as a women-led social enterprise to empower women disadvantaged by poverty, unemployment, lack of opportunity and skills. Partners and friends, Alice Eshuchi, Doreen Aura Munroe, and Lynne Chizzick envisioned a program of outreach that continues to grow, building a supportive community of women training in skills including sewing, tailoring, tie and dye, fashion and design, and the craft of jewelry making. On the job training, learning and earning, includes mentoring in sales and marketing, leadership and personal finance, aimed at encouraging independence and entrepreneurship.

Mrembo Africa continues to inspire and expand its program of women empowerment with its model presenting women with a path for growth and leadership. Upon successfully mastering a skill and completing each part of the program, a woman becomes a teacher/trainer supporting new members of our group. The lasting bonds these women form provide strength and resilience as they work to overcome backgrounds of poverty, extreme vulnerability and gender based violence, creating new pathways to economically sustain their families and provide for their children’s education within a shared sense of community.

Mrembo Africa has hosted student interns from American University in Washington, DC since our founding. This partnership program has been invaluable in providing positive interactions, opportunities for English language support, updates on technology, and a dynamic range of fashion suggestions and observations. Being a part of our women’s empowerment program deeply impacted these students, particularly the personal stories of the women, their dreams and aspirations for themselves and their children.
Among our other partnerships, in 2018 Mrembo Africa was chosen to host 30 girls from the Dreams Project under Liverpool VCT Center for two months of training in tie and dye, crochet, jewelry making, and financial literacy. The success of this partnership and the personal growth evidenced in the women of the Dreams Project guided by Mrembo has gained recognition. Mrembo Africa is pursuing additional new and exciting partnerships including a line of children’s clothing coming soon.



OUR TEAM

The workshop has up to 10 participants daily; these women arrive by 9.00 a.m with energy and enthusiasm to start their day’s work. They all find the workshop becomes a safe haven because they have bonded as a family and a team. They prepare their lunch together as a social gesture and eat together, a time for laughter and jokes, connecting and relaxing. The welcome environment and the sense of community they cultivate is therapeutic, affirms their identity and relieves them from personal stress. Other women have the flexibility to work from home as they continue with their daily household activities and care for their children.

A Kenyan mother-of-five describes how sewing has helped her family survive. Jerusa Angokho, from Western Kenya, was left to care for her five children by herself without a profession at the age of almost 40. She is now one of 10 women leaders on the Mrembo Africa team. Jerusa, now 52, says she is a different woman since she joined the Mrembo Team. “I have learned to communicate with clients while selling in different markets. At first, I was afraid to express myself, but now I know I can create, sew, and then sell what I produce.”

OUR PRODUCTS

Décor: Make your home, office, or business unique with decorative wares from our collection. Brightly colored placemats, pillow cushions, table napkins and more, add warmth and cheer to any room. Our décor items feature modern motifs that are unique and blend effortlessly with all themes and styles.

Fashion: Handmade with a blend of materials and traditional techniques, our line of fashions for men and women features beautiful vibrant colors and designs. Elegant, modern, and durable, these distinctive pieces will not only stand out but last years to come.

Services: In addition to providing our lines of clothing, beach wear, bags, and jewelry, along with our items to enhance your decor, Mrembo Africa artisans can also create custom products for you, your home, and your business.

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