One of the cooperatives that Spes Nova works with is the Nyabigena Soapstone Carvers Cooperative. The members of this cooperative live in the village of Nyamarambe in Western Kenya. Nyabigena means “land of soapstone,” and the cooperative has several soapstone quarries nearby. The carvers do not have complex equipment, so all of the work is done by hand with basic tools, such as chisels and small picks. However, the lack of advanced equipment does not take away from their ability to create sophisticated products.
After the men finish with the carving process, the women dip the pieces in water and sand them to smooth and polish them off.
This cooperative has played a major role in positively impacting its community. The cooperative provides work for community members and uses the proceeds from its products to invest in causes such as education. In January 2007, the cooperative opened Nyabigena Mixed Day Academy, an elementary school that educates 150 students.
If you want to show your support for a good cause and the Nyabigena Soapstone Carvers Cooperative, you can check out their products on the Spes Nova website here.