Google Arts & Culture (GAC) has today partnered with Carakana, a Kenyan social impact enterprise, to launch an online exhibition for embroidery products. Carakana supports marginalised women and people living with disabilities to learn cross stitching, and traditional craft, turning it into an income. Carakana, is among seven affiliates of the MAMA Foundation led by Her Excellency Rachel Ruto, a thought leader on financial inclusion and women’s economic empowerment. The page will include online exhibits, narrated by marginalised women and people living with disabilities, who explain their circumstances and the role Carakana has played in their lives. ‘Carakana: Transforming Lives’ will be a standalone page on the GAC platform promoting activities of the national organisation.
Carakana members will have individual documentaries recorded at workplaces- in prisons, rural homes and village settings explaining their lives before and after joining the social impact organisation, uploaded onto the platform. The enterprise solely benefits women in prison, those with disabilities and others recovering from substance abuse.
Agnes Gathaiya, Country Director, Google Kenya hailed the partnership saying Carakana’s work reflected the mission of Google Arts & Culture of sharing local stories and knowledge to everyone, everywhere. “GAC is an innovation partner of the cultural sector. We work with cultural organisations to help them share and preserve cultural content and create exciting cultural experiences using cutting edge technology. Each month, there are more than 500 million art-related searches on Google,” she said.
Ms Ruto welcomed the development saying her foundation’s purpose was to catalyse socio-economic transformation in communities through spirituality, collective agency and influence. “Going online means opening up the work of our women who are supported by Carakana to a worldwide audience. Carakana is an agent of transformation for a quality, holistic life in the society,” said Ms Ruto.
A beneficiary, Ms Zipporah said skills learnt from Carakana had enabled her to work and earn money that she spent on paying school fees for her son while serving a prison sentence adding, “this project has enabled me to meet my family’s needs as well as my own.” Another beneficiary, Ms Caroline, also in prison serving sentence commented, “despite being locked away from my son, he is my greatest inspiration. I have to keep moving. Being able to take care of him using the income I earn from stitching (Carakana) has been a blessing.”