Threads Logo Threads Logo Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram Favorite Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon
How-to

L.I.F.E. Bags Support Kenyan Women and Children

Nov 25, 2010
Article Image

The Malaika Mums, the women make the L.I.F.E. bags for CTC International.

In Maai Mahui, Kenya, a simple sewing project is bettering the lives of a special group of women and children. L.I.F.E. bags (Livelihood, Invest, Future, Environment) are made by the Maliaka Mums, Kenyan women who have children with mental and/or physical disabilities.

In Kenya, some cultural traditions hold that handicaps are a curse, shameful, and a reason to ostracize a child and his or her family. L.I.F.E. bags are a sustainable, non-profit outreach program by Comfort the Children International. By learning how to create these bags totes, the Maliaka Mums are able to earn money to support themselves, their children, and to create a product that protects the earth from yet more plastic bags.

The first L.I.F.E bag I saw was brought back from the ASG conference. CTC founder Zane Wilemon says the ASG’s help has been vital in training the Malaika Mums to sew and in supporting the program.

“It’s incredible what happens when you bring committed individuals with a skill ready to empower others in need,” Zane says. “It quickly becomes a mutual giving and receiving, where the individual with resources discovers their need as well and how sharing their lives with women on the other side of the world through the craft of sewing fills a void in their lives and brings fulfillment for both.”

CTC takes volunteer teams to Kenya, and ASG teams have been invaluable in the development of the Malaika Mums’ sewing skills. The L.I.F.E. bag story was written up in the ASG’s Fall 2008 edition of Notions.

In the ASG online store, black L.I.F.E bags bearing the ASG logo are still available. They have the ASG logo on one side and “This is not a plastic bag” in Swahili on the other. The heavy-duty totes, made of Kenyan cotton and silk screened there, measure about 14 by 16 by 4 inches. Two limited edition, artist-designed L.I.F.E. bags are currently for sale in CTC’s online store:

The HOPE (Helping Other People Everywhere) Campaign bag supports HOPE’s peace and education campaigns in Darfur, Kenya, Congo, and America.

The SAMO4PREZ Bag, designed by the Veritas Artist Collective, helps to promote and sustain the group’s mission to promote humanitarian causes through art and media.

Here’s a great gift idea: CTC also makes custom orders for organizations, businesses or groups. Contact whitney@ctcinternational.org for more information.

Sign up for the Threads Eletter

Get the latest from Threads delivered straight to your inbox.

×
Discuss

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, patterns and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Subscribe to Threads today

Save up to 37% and get a free gift

Subscribe

Discuss

  1. jansquires December 2nd

    Great article on the CTC bags. What a wonderful group of people helping people through sewing.

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

More From Threads

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All

Highlights

  • Sign up for the Threads Eletter

    Get the latest from Threads delivered straight to your inbox.

  • SewStylish

    SewStylish

    Take a look inside the pages of SewStylish Spring 2017.

  • CraftStylish

    CraftStylish

    Expert craft tutorials, news, and tips for sewing, knitting, crochet, quilting, paper crafts, embroidery, jewelry making, and more!