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Matumaini Children's Home

Matumaini Children's Home

Matumaini means ‘hope’ in Swahili. Teruko, a Japanese woman, founded the orphanage nearly thirty years ago but wanted to also find a way to eliminate the reason children ended up at the orphanage - mothers didn’t have access to a consistent income. By bringing to life these adorable animals, Teruko has transformed the lives of these women and their ability to care for their children. We asked the women how working at Matumaini has impacted their lives and here are just a few of the things they said:

“It helps me a lot. I can give my daughter an education.” – Sarah Nijeri

“It has given me courage and confidence in doing things with my own thinking.” – Monicah Warijiru

“It has helped me so much because I can educate my children and buy food for them so they are happy and so I am happy to!” – Lucy Wanjiilo

Each decorative felt animal is made by hand from the cleaning and dying of the wool to the needle felting of each spot, face and tail. The largest sizes can take up to 8 hours to make depending on the skill level of the artist.  

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