Bombolulu Workshops was formed in 1969 in Mariakani, in Coast Province by the Methodist Church, Ministry of Social Services, the private sector and Peace Corps to create employment for people with disability. In the early 1970's the project was transferred to the Association for the Physically Disabled of Kenya (APDK).
As a project of the APDK, the name was changed to Bombolulu Workshops and Cultural Center and the project was relocated to Mombasa, off the Mombasa/Malindi highway. At the Coast Province, the APDK has a total of ﬁve projects and all in their different ways pursue to accomplish the same mission;
To enable persons with disabilities overcome their physical limitations and empower them economically and socially to become self reliant and fully integrated members of their communities.
Since its inception, the project has trained over 500 physically handicapped, blind and deaf persons in crafts who have been reintegrated into their communities. The direct beneﬁciaries of the Centre are 50 permanent employees and 40 contracted workers. In addition, these employees and workers support approximately 500 dependants in form of spouses and children as well as about 500 close relatives such as parents, brothers and sisters.
Most of the production in the four sheltered workshops where handicrafts are produced is done by hands and hand tools. The production systems and material strive to adhere to environmental concerns – use of recycle materials in some of the handicrafts and toxic free dyes in our screen printing.
Jewellery are made of locally available raw materials as well as semi- precious stones and other form of beads, fashion wear made of Kenyan cotton and hand printed, was well as leather products such as canvas bags, sandals, leather belts etc. Finally, woodcarvings that include unique designs made from sustainable hardwood from managed tree plantations. The workshops have a production capacity of nearly 280,000 separate items per annum.
Workers incomes are directly derived from the sales of the products, as about 50% are employed on piecework basis, as such more orders received means an income for the piece workers as well as sustainability of the project. 90% of the workers are housed within the compound and receive medical beneﬁt and school fees support for their children. The centre also runs a clinic and nursery school for the children of the workers.
All these handicrafts are produced for both local (40%) and export market (60% of revenue). Many years of successful exporting have established the workshops as a reliable supplier and the project is a member of the WFTO (World Fair Trade Organization). Locally, the handicraft is sold through their outlet located within their premise and mobile shop i.e. exhibitions in the various hotels of Mombasa, as well as individual hotels and boutiques all over Kenya.
Visit the workshops in Mombasa during your stay to buy beautiful and unique products for Christmas or any other occasion!
“The ripple effect of any growth in this workshop has great positive impact on several families and citizens of Kenya and has greatly contributed to the economy at large.”
“It all goes to show that given an opportunity disability is not inability; Bombolulu Workshops is a living example of this.”
Since the need by the disabled people to be empowered through mobility is ever on the rise and they constantly receive requests for these appliances, it is their sincerely appeal to the sponsors, donors, well-wishers and friends to kindly consider sponsoring a disabled person.
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