Activating Change

THINK BIG – start small

Kamay Krafts recycling and giving female workers a job.

Kamay Krafts

We, the members of Kamay Krafts Multipurpose Cooperative, take pleasure in presenting to you quality handcrafted items. We are sure you will have great pleasure in giving, using or seeing them displayed around your home.

This is a business with a difference. That is, the people who are crafting these items are the owners of the business as well. We are a group of about 100 women from depressed areas of Manila (The Philippines) who have come together, pooled our resources and in so doing earn a living. In normal businesses a few get rich while the majority stay entrapped in poverty. By a system of profit sharing we are able to lift our standard of living so that we are not always living in debt.

We work from our homes. This means that there is minimal disruption to the family needs and routines.

Our cooperative is entirely self-supporting and we are not looking for donations. We only ask that you include us in your thinking and view our products as an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of your underprivileged cousins.

Kamay Krafts started informally in September 1991.  At first it was a small embroidery project to give women in the slum areas of Manila some extra income. For a number of reasons women are often the most disadvantaged group amongst the poor. For some of the women the income they earn at Kamay Krafts is the only money they receive to support their whole family.

    The project was started by missionaries of Servants to Asia’s Urban Poor. Members of this mission seek a wholistic approach to improving the situation of urban poor folk. To this end they live (with their families) in the slums as the best way to get to know the deep heart felt needs of the poor. More about Servants: “”
    Soon Kamay Krafts co-op became the independent organization that it is today – controlled and managed entirely by the urban poor women.  The mission still has a close informal association of encouragement and advice when asked for.  This informal support is facilitated by SERVANTS and Kamay Krafts sharing office space.
    Wherever possible Kamay Krafts seeks to sell directly to the public. This keeps us in closer contact with the needs of the customers and often enables a higher return for our labour.
    However, we welcome resellers (in all countries) who appreciate the aims of the cooperative and who have a heart for the poor. Many of our resellers are small scale. They just sell to their family, friends and associates. We already have small scale resellers in 7 countries. If you are interested in selling our products then go to our reseller page.

Read more:


The positive thing about this organization is that it gives mothers in slum areas of Manila some extra income. And they can work at home and still look after their children and would not have to travel distances to workshops.

The negative about this is they sell most of their goods online and they are not well known, which doesn’t help sell products to allow a steady income for the ladies working in places like Manila.


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This entry was posted on March 26, 2012 by in Uncategorized and tagged , .
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