ingenious kickstarter idea in kenya helping to empower local youths

HABA HABA, which translates to little by little, is a fantastic kickstarter scheme we recently discovered through a friend of ours in Kenya. Essentially, the crowdfunding platform aims to provide high quality, wooden belts produced in Kenya, which bring a sense of empowerment to local youths. We wanted to share their story and how they are helping a country close to the hearts of many.

Three people wearing a HABA HABA made belts made in Kenya.

HABA HABA’s story


Two of project’s members flew to Kenya in the summer of 2014 and again this year. It was during these visits they met many like-minded people looking to make a difference. And while HABA HABA wasn’t born at this time, it was already beginning to grow, the team just didn’t quite know it yet.

During a previous visit to Kenya, the members of HABA HABA, who are three students, Zoe, Kimberly and Caroline, from the Netherlands and Germany, were involved in a different startup; an arts and crafts business aiming to invest in local youths. The startup worked so well that it became independent, and as a result spurred the HABA HABA team to do something of their own.

At this point the team were traveling through Kenya and discovered some amazing belts made out of wood. How cool?! The team got to thinking and decided that something special could come of this that would benefit everyone involved, but they the team agreed that it was essential they had the support of the Kenyan youth to collaborate with, and alas HABA HABA was born!


The product


The belt itself, as we mentioned, is made out of wood. HABA HABA state its style and design brings a ‘rustic and original look to every outfit’, while being practical and adjustable too. Let’s be honest, how many of us own a wooden belt? But how many of you are now thinking about how cool it would be to be wearing one?

The wooden belt is already a popular choice among the Kenyan people, and HABA HABA are striving to produce their product from local certified wood that allows for them to back the local economy.



Why do it this way?


There are lots of people who will think that the best way to help the people who need support in places like Kenya is to hand over some money. There’s no denying that money from western countries goes a long way in Africa, but this is a short-sighted approach. The country needs initiatives like HABA HABA, with a long-sighted, sustainable plan that would see the Kenyan people empower themselves and live lives like the rest of us, developing the country successfully in doing so.

The aim is to lend support and empower youth aged between 18 and 30. The people in this age bracket have an underlying potential yet to be unleashed for the world to see and appreciate, but at this time they receive the least amount of support. Personally speaking, I have seen how inspired, motivated and talented the youths are, but given the lack of work, it is hard to find a way in life. But thanks to HABA HABA jobs are being created, help is at hand, and the team are sticking to their ethos to ensure the youths employed remain empowered via fair contracts. HABA HABA consider the youths not just as ‘members of staff’, they are more than that, they are trade partners, promoting change in their own communities, showing that they don’t have to fall victim to the often lacking environment they were born in.


What’s next?

Over the next 8-10 weeks the team behind HABA HABA will be working closely with local youths in Kenya to provide appropriate training, as well as establishing contracts, not forgetting the production of the all-important belts as well!

As you might expect from any startup company there have been barriers to overcome, but with the help of specialists in the country, things are taking shape.

As things stand, HABA HABA need all the help that people are willing to give. You can pledge your support through their kickstarter page with a variety of options, all of which will help support this wonderful project and the individuals involved.

From all at Quality Unearthed, we wish HABA HABA the very best of luck, and we hope to see visitors on our yurt holidays and other glamping trips sporting their wooden belts in 2016, and beyond!


Image courtesy of HABA HABA

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