I’m home! And I’ve mixed feelings about this. Of course, it’s nice to see friends and family again and to eat all the nice food and to drink a La Chouffe beer in front of the fireplace, but I also miss the daily African life. And the weather. I don’t want to complain, but you can’t deny it’s freezing cold here in the Netherlands. And I never expected to say this, but I also miss the daladala and bodabodas. Yesterday I tried to take the bus to the train station, but this appeared to be mission impossible. 25 minutes, frozen feet and no bus later, I had to take the car and drive myself to the station. It isn’t that bad at all, there in Africa!
But as you all know, I was on a journey. The social impact journey to be precise. A journey to explore the opportunities to start a social business in an African country. I don’t have a business yet, but I’ve many many ideas. However, I also wanted to have something tangible to bring home. Creating some kind of social impact at the end of these 3 months, without waiting until I’ve a real business up and running. And I found a great project to do so. The women group of Osiligilai, the community of the Maasai lodge where I spent a lot of time, started a business together. They make jewellery and home decoration to sell within their own community as well as surrounding lodges. At the lodge, I loved the many dream catchers they used as decoration in the rooms, restaurant and pool area. They look so nice and colourful, so it’s the ideal home decoration. Why not trying to sell these in the Netherlands? And so it started. I decided to buy 200 pieces directly from the women and started Masaya Africa.
My aim is to sell these 200 pieces to be able to test the market. Are people interested in this kind of decoration or do I just like it because I’ve been there and met the women myself? My first market test was last weekend at the local Christmas market in my home village. Within 2 days I had to make a plan on how to sell this and how I wanted to present my product and I succeeded! People really liked the story, the product and the idea of direct support when buying a present. That was exactly my mission. The goal is to sell all 200 pieces before the end of the year, so if you are interested or still looking for a nice Christmas present, let me know! Check out Instagram for inspiration how to use the dream catchers or buy a complete decorated branch! At this moment, 10 women have been supported because of my order. All these women have a family and with the money they generate, they are able to create a sustainable income for the long term. They use the money to pay school fees and to save in order to do more investments in the business. It’s great to see how they organize this together and how a women group can become independent and self-sustainable!