The story of our social enterprise, The Maisha Collective, begins with a young woman named Dahabo. At age 14, Dahabo fled to Kenya from her native Somalia. In 2009, Dahabo enrolled in our Girls' Empowerment Project. Recognizing her potential, we sponsored Dahabo in a training program to learn the centuries-old process of resist dyeing fabrics. She was excited to bring her knowledge back to Heshima and to teach her peers this traditional East African craft. Through her leadership and passion, The Maisha Collective, has grown into an artisan collective of over 100 young refugee women. 

Now, The Maisha Collective is an established social enterprise that fosters leadership and business management skills through the design and production of unique hand-dyed fabrics and textiles. Here, participants gain life-long entrepreneurial business and marketing skills that develop their confidence and prepare them for future independence. 

Our artisan collective is unique in that it enables young women to achieve economic and social independence at their own pace. Most have deep emotional and physical scars that require long-term case management support. Participants continue their healing within Heshima Kenya’s supportive environment.

Since 2010, nearly 70 percent of Maisha artisans have become economically independent. The Maisha Collective is designed to be solutions-based, enabling young refugee girls to achieve independence at their own pace. One hundred percent of the revenue is reinvested into Heshima Kenya's programs and the savings of Maisha Collective members.

The power of purchase inspires their journey to support, empower, and ultimately protect other young refugee women. Take a look at the latest collection here