Malindi Handicrafts (Bebeth)

Last week we took a break from DrumNet to work on a project with another volunteer, Grover, who works for Malindi Handicrafts, the second largest handicraft organization in Kenya. They have over 600 woodcarvers that make anything and everything that you could think of (and some things you would NEVER think of.) Currently their main buyers are the tourists that come through Malindi, but they would like to expand into new markets. One possible option is to export to large buyers like Pier 1, Crate and Barrel, etc. The other option would be to allow people to purchase their products via the web and have it shipped directly to them. In order for either of these options to be viable, they need to have a much better website and a catalog. So…last week we and Sam and Miranda Roberts (2 other PCV’s that we’ve talked about before) traveled to the coast to get this project going. Miranda will focus on the content writing, Sam on the design and we will focus on the programming of the website. The four of us have just the right skills for a project like this.

While we were there our main focus was to get the visual content for the site. So….we spent 4 days taking pictures of every item they make, interviewing the carvers and management of the cooperative and generally trying to gather as much information as possible so that we’d have all the information we’d need to create everything once we return to our respective sites.

If you’re interested, take a look at http://www.malindihandicrafts.org to see what their site looks like right now. It’ll be a little while before we are ready to put up the new site.

This work took up most of our time, but we’ll post again soon with pictures and info on the “vacation” parts of the trip.

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