TUI Colourful Cultures Kenya

Restoring and expanding a centre of artisanship to provide income and employment opportunities for local artisans who have disabilities.

In Mombasa, Kenya, the TUI Care Foundation is working with the APDK (Association for the Physically Disabled of Kenya) to help provide income and employment opportunities for local artisans who have disabilities.

Based at the Bombolulu Workshop and Cultural Centre, the APDK’s mission is to empower artisans and people with disabilities both socially and economically.

The Centre houses a community of 190 families in a gated settlement, including over 30 people with disabilities and their families. It trains and employs the residents as artisans in jewellery-making, tailoring, woodcrafts, leatherwork and the production of mobility aids like wheelchairs and tricycles.

For many years, local artisans in Kenya have relied their income on sales of handicrafts to tourists. For the Bombolulu Workshops and Cultural Centre in Mombasa, which provides training and employment opportunities for people with disabilities, business dropped by more than 70% following the COVID-19 pandemic. This threatened the livelihoods of more than 80 artisans with disabilities and their families.  So, the TUI Care Foundation is working with APDK to support those vulnerable groups and create new opportunities.

The project is funding the renovation of Bombolulu Centre in order to upgrade the facilities to host school and corporate visits as well as creating stronger links with the tourism industry to increase tourist visits too.

The renovation allows the staff to host more than 200 dancing events and activities, and welcome over 1,000 tourists and local school children to the centre.

As key customers links with also be created with hotels to find a market for the centre’s artisanal products. These links, which include partnerships with hotels where dance events will be held as well as with tour operators that will supply the centre with visitors, will boost the income of those from vulnerable communities which are supported and employed by the centre. Local artisans will be connected with ten hotels where cultural events are held. The activities highlight the core value of Bombolulu’s objective: to prove that disability is not inability.

Creating a more dynamic centre will allow for income opportunities from the visits, sales of food and beverage, tickets for the dance events and showroom sales from artisanal products crafted at Bombolulu itself. The project also therefore aims to help increase market access for local cultural and creative products, as well as establishing a readiness for market opportunities and the conservation of Kenyan cultural heritage.

Project Partner

The Association for the Physically Disabled of Kenya (APDK) is a charitable, non-governmental organization established in 1958, with the objective of improving the quality of lives of persons with disabilities using the Rights Based Approach for social inclusion and poverty reduction.

Their mission is to strengthen rehabilitation services, mainstream disability for empowerment of person with different abilities and promote an inclusive society where people with different abilities have access to affordable quality rehabilitation services and are able to become self-reliant.

Their main activities include centre-based physical rehabilitation, community-based rehabilitation that promotes inclusion through awareness creation, business development and sustainability, as is the case of Bombolulu workshops and cultural centre.

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