_MG_0162A demonstration against rape held in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi after a Member of Parliament allegedly raped a woman about 3 weeks ago. The MP, Gideon Mwiti has been charged in a Nairobi court and was released on a Ksh100,000 bail.

The women weavers of Kibera turning waste to jewellery

Barefoot children play beside a pool of raw sewerage-captivated by their creative games. Passers-by manoeuvre through dusty footpaths, crouching through low, rusty roofs. The place is busy; welcome to Kibera, the biggest slum in Africa.
A view of Kibera slum in Kenya's capital Nairobi which is one of the biggest slums in Africa

A view of Kibera slum in Kenya’s capital Nairobi which is one of the biggest slums in Africa

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Elizabeth is among 17 women, all HIV positive who actively engage in turning waste materials into jewellery in Kibera.
Elizabeth Kasim with Grace Akinyi during a weaving session in her house in Kibera

Elizabeth Kasim with Grace Akinyi during a weaving session in her house in Kibera

Through a community based organisation, Mirror of Hope, the women came together five years ago and were taken through a training.
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“We were trained on how to make beads from polythene bags, old calendar cuttings and other waste materials,” said the mother of two who fluently speaks 10 Kenyans languages. For her, every day is a weaving or a beading day, one waste product at a time.
A weaving session at Elizabeth's house in Kibera

A weaving session at Elizabeth’s house in Kibera

Calendars and poster papers make the beads while polythene bags make weaving materials
Some of the materials used to make the jewellery and a final product

Some of the materials used to make the jewellery and a final product

Other materials they use for weaving include dried banana stems which Elizabeth says make quality bags
A 'kiondo' made form dried banana stem

A ‘kiondo’ made form dried banana stem

Doubling up as a vegetable seller, Elizabeth’s day is always busy. “While waiting for clients at my kibanda, I bead and weave,” she says adding that in a day she can make two sets of necklaces, bracelets and earrings.
Elizabeth putting a shade over her fruits stock in Kibera

Elizabeth putting a shade over her fruits stock in Kibera

some of the jewellery Elizabeth Kasim has made

some of the jewellery Elizabeth Kasim has made

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In future, Elizabeth hopes to put up a jewellery shop in upmarket estates.
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