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Google empowers Kenya’s cross-stitch designers

from MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya
NAIROBI – CROSS-stitch and traditional craft makers in Kenya have an opportunity to turn the craft into a source of livelihood.

Google Arts and Culture has partnered with Carakana, a local social enterprise and non-profit, to launch an online exhibition for these marginalised women from various backgrounds

The Carakana page on Google Arts and Culture features 20 online exhibits, video narratives by the women and people living with disabilities.

Others are recovering from substance abuse.

“Carakana has brought hope and resilience to many vulnerable women in Kenya,” said Rachel Ruto, the founder and patron of Carakana.

“The use of technology to curate the stories of these great women, to showcase how creating the beautiful cross-stitched art pieces has touched both their lives and those of their loved ones and to share that with a global audience helps to make this not just a Kenyan story, but a humanity story,” Ruto said.

Carakana is among seven affiliates of the MAMA Foundation founded and led by Ruto, who holds the Office of Spouse to the Deputy President.

Agnes Gathaiya, the Country Director, Google Kenya, said Carakana’s work reflected the mission of Google Arts and Culture of sharing local stories and knowledge to everyone, everywhere.

“It’s exciting to be part of a project that is transforming lives. Carakana’s work beautifully reflects the mission of Google Arts and Culture, which is to share local stories and knowledge to everyone everywhere,” Gathaiya said.

Cross-stitching is very intricate and is one of the oldest forms of embroidery.

The online expo showcases more stories about cultural heritage ranging from Kenya’s communities and their superheroes, Nigerian food, the creative scene in Lagos, Nelson Mandela and South Africa’s nature.

Google Arts and Culture puts the treasures, stories and knowledge of over 2 000 cultural institutions from 80 countries.

– CAJ News

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