Barbara’s Assignment

After swearing in on 25-Sep we will be packed and riding to Keetmanshoop to begin our volunteer work.  There is lots to learn and we are beginning some research.  Barbara will be doing volunteer work with Karas Huisen Crafts

‘Huisen’ means ‘to help yourself’ in Nama language.

Dr. Katerina Verchusa a representative of People In Need, a non-profit non-governmental organization from the Czech Republic, in 2003, visited Keetmanshoop, a town in the South of Namibia. Keetmanshoop is situated in the Karas Region of Namibia. The purpose of the visit was to do research and a needs analysis. The community targeted in the research, was the poverty stricken people, living in Tseiblaagte, the poorest township in Keetmanshoop. The research showed that the cry from the community was to find some employment to earn and to create a living for themselves and their families.
In 2004, People In Need opened the doors of a sheltered workshop in Tseiblaagte, under the management of Dr. Katerina Verchusa. The purpose of the workshop was capacity building and employment creation. The workshop started with 10 ladies whom have since increased to 32 people. The employees are mostly women infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, TB, other infectious diseases, foster parent, single moms and just poor people. KHC also makes provision for people who can only work from their homes. We have an additional 5 ladies working from home. Depending on the demand of products KHC used to employ up to 100 people.

KHC today:
In 2009 the workshop became an independent Namibian entity with the new name Karas Huisen Crafts Trust. The name was decided on by the employees. ‘Huisen’ in the Nama language means ‘Help Yourself’.
Karas Huisen Crafts since it inception specialized in hand made products true to the Nama culture. The products ranged from jewelry items from ostrich and glass beads, traditional textile dolls, small textile animals like the elephants, rhino and giraffes. KHC also produced certain household items like aprons, placemats, potholders and many more.  All the items are hand embroidered.
To ensure a stable income for the workshop KHC started new business services namely printing and embroidering of T-shirts.

Karas Huisen Crafts Trust operational activities continuous to have a tremendous impact on the community what is visible in the positive change in the lifes’ of the project beneficiaries.
We will be very happy to welcome you in our workshop in Keetmanshoop. We are very grateful for you help and kind support!
Madalene Hartung, Director

We are waiting for You!

Just look for the Karas Huisen Crafts Trust logo on the labels. We will be happy to welcome you in our workshop in Keetmanshoop each day from Monday till Thursday 8AM – 5 PM and Friday 8AM – 13PM!  By purchasing our unique handicraft products, Conference bags or T-shirts you directly support vulnerable of Tseiblaagte community!


About Steve Link

In Namibia with the U.S. Peace Corps July 2014 - July 2016. View all posts by Steve Link

3 responses to “Barbara’s Assignment

  • Bobi

    This looks like a very worthwhile project. It’s too bad that they don’t have the capacity to sell online. (Christmas presents…) Maybe that’s something that can be worked out over time. Good luck, Barbara!
    Lots of love to both of you.

  • Lee Ketcham

    This is perfect for you don’t you think?
    Maybe you could have friends “brainstorm” ideas from US and send so you could look at possibilities, eliminating ones that are not applicable due to ….whatever filters need to be looked through.
    Your friend Bobi has a great idea for “online” sales tho it has to be looked through a Namibia filter of geography, current technology and skill level, etc. How exciting an entrepreneurial adventure!

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