SMOLart Self Help Group
Smolart is a self-help organization in the Western Kenyan community of Kisii, near Lake Victoria. As a unique source of kisii soapstone, this area is home to many artisans who make their living through carving. Smolart seeks to improve the lives of member carvers through marketing and logistical supports. Smolart works with 200 producer members, each of whom is a stakeholder. Each member works with several home-based artisans, for a total of some 1,000 carvers, thus creating job opportunities while also allowing artisans to be closer to their families.
The group's mission goes beyond providing a fair wage to artisans; they seek to eradicate poverty among their members, promote fair trade, oppose discrimination, to support community efforts and to manage resources sustainably. Ten Thousand Villages has purchased products from Smolart since 2008.