Monday, September 12, 2011


The Maisha (in Swahili means “Life”) Collective, recently grabbed my attention through an innovative competition recently held in Chicago. Ten Chicago based fashion designers were each given a hand made scarf, and asked to design a dress using incorporating the scarf.  The scarves were designed and made by refugees from a Kenyan NGO called Heshima. Heshima Kenya empowers refugee girls and young women from DR Congo, Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Burundi with economic opportunities to rebuild their lives with peace and dignity. Founded by Anne Sweeney and Talyn Good, Heshima Kenya is the first and only organization in Kenya devoted to identifying, protecting and empowering unaccompanied refugee children and youth living in Nairobi.

We love projects designed to empower and uplift women through trade. The purchase of the scarves inspires the Maisha women’s journey to become Ambassadors who support, empower, and ultimately protect other refugee women. To learn more about the mission of Heshima Kenya, check out their website

Each scarf is a rayon and cotton blend, and measures 36”w by 90”l with 3-inch tassels at the end.


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