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ALMA EN PENA by AFRIKABLE

Alma en Pena by Afrikable

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Background

Alma En Pena is a Spanish shoe brand born in the summer of 2006 as a small project, which currently counts with an important distribution network and whose shoes can be found all over Europe, as well as in the USA, China, Japan and the Middle East, among others.

The Alma en Pena by Afrikable project arose from Mónica Gil visit to the Afrikable's cooperation project in (Kenya) in 2013. She came as a volunteer holidaymaker filled with excitement and happiness, and spread her optimism among all the people around her. She was only 19 but she showed to be very mature and to live up to the harsh reality of a cooperation project in Africa. Once back in Spain, she couldn’t forget about the project’s women and their children, and she suggested us the idea of manufacturing shoes under the Fair Trade standards.

Foto-Monica-en-Afrikable

"To me, Afrikable is a chance, hope, a bright spot shining on the path of many people, a family fighting together in the same direction in order to achieve: A BETTER WORLD. Afrikable has succeeded in transforming the course of many lives so that they can achieve their dreams. Afrikable = future."
Mónica Gil

Afrikable’s women, fighting as much as always, were ready to accept the challenge and to learn how to make shoes. When we started the Afrikable project none of the women knew how to use a sewing machine, let alone manufacturing recycled or costume jewelry products. The only thing they had done during their whole lives was chopping wood and taking care of their children. Making shoes was a big challenge but, after one year of making efforts, learning, laughing and some crying, in September of 2014 the sandals handmade by women from the project for Alma en Pena by Afrikable were presented in European fairs.

Coleccion-AlmaenPena-Afrikable-Verano2015

As part of such first 2015 summer collection, we made almost 5.000 pairs of sandals in just over three months. During the production process of the 2016 summer collection, we trained more than 75 new women, living in extreme poverty and at risk of social exclusion in the Lamu area. The training covered the different stages in the shoes production and more than 93 people in total were part of Afrikable’s staff during the production months. A huge challenge that we overcame: a very high quality collection, entirely handmade, that it can be already found at Alma en Pena's online shop.

Behind each sandal there are a thousand stories, a thousand examples of self-improvement and fighting for getting by.

Foto-Ralia

Ralia is 29 and has 6 kids. She remembers that some time ago her husband told her that he was 60, but she doesn’t know how old he is now. He was her father’s best friend and when he became widowed, her father offered her as his wife. She was only 15. Her husband is a good man, doesn’t beat neither her nor their children, and used to work as a watchman, for what he earned €50 per month. It was not too much, but at least they had something to eat daily. That was so until he caught an eye infection that made him completely lose his vision, and now the whole family depends on her.

Ralia started at the recycling group. At Afrikable, she learned to read and write. She is a hard worker and skillful person, and whatever she sets out to do, she does it well. In the Alma en Pena project by Afrikable she holds a position that in Kenya is exclusively reserved for men: she is in charge of drawing and cutting the different pieces of the sandal and of their subsequent assembly. As the first woman shoemaker in Kenya, she feels very happy and proud. We are also very proud of her.

Sandalias-Almaenpena-by-Afrikable

Every fair trade sandal offers to these women a chance of empowerment, getting awareness of their rights and achieving a better future for them and their families. You can read more testimonies at our website, as those by Betty and Mama Madina, where you will see how fair trade changes lives.

Thank you, Alma en Pena, for trusting them, us, and making all of this possible…

Asante Sana!

 

Translator: Ara Calavia

ABOUT AFRIKABLE

Afrikable is a Spanish charitable organisation, registered in the National Register of Associations under number 1/1/594088 and in the Spanish Agency of International Cooperation for Development (AECID)'s Register of Non-Governmental Organisations under number 2033.

 

In Kenya our association is called Afrika Able Organization and is registered with Kenya's NGO Coordination Board under number 10976.

WHERE ARE WE

  • Lamu, Kenia.
    Madrid, Spain
  • +34 651 060 555