Soapstone is a really soft stone found all over the world. It is called soapstone because, when unpolished, it feels kind of soapy! This soapstone is quarried in the city of Kisii, Kenya.
Tabaka is a cooperative group of soapstone carvers from the Kisii tribe in Kenya. They believe in empowering their artisans by providing fair wages for their members and marketing opportunities for their products outside of Kenya. The Tabaka cooperative provides loans, product design and development assistance, and advanced payment for their orders. The artisans are also provided with safety equipment and the opportunity to have health insurance. Tabaka provides a model for the community by encouraging women as well as men to get involved. Tabaka saves 15% of their income to help orphans, widows, handicapped, elderly, and HIV/AIDS victims whether or not they are part of the Tabaka cooperative. In this way, the community also benefits as the group continues to look for new and innovative ways to make a positive impact. Your purchases ultimately help strengthen the community and help the artisans and their families break the cycle of poverty in the Kisii region of Kenya.