Earlier this year, we were given the task of setting up a functional screen print studio in the enormous Kibera Slum in scorching hot Kenya. The conditions were far from ideal, with dusty streets, lack of clean running water, small workspace and many other variables that would make it difficult to print. However, with the determination and support of Rachel Baughen from Kipepeo Cards we managed to bring this idea to reality earlier this month.
This project stemmed out of Rachel’s drive to make a difference in the slum of Kibera, a place which she has been passionate about for several years with many obstacles and stories to tell about her journey. She sought the help of children’s book illustrator, Chris Haughton to add a new dimension to the Kipepeo Card designs, who in turn referred People of Print to bring this idea to life. After numerous meetings and discussions of how this would work, the team set to achieve the task at hand. Chris created six new designs, and with the help of Peckham Print Studio and WPS we managed to get and prepare the necessary equipment for this venture.
Only those who have visited Kibera Slum will understand the complexity and severity of the environment and we had one week to reach our goal. After a 9 hour night flight and no sleep, we set to work at the project space. We started by setting up a mini print space in the office area of the building, then we selected two of the Kipepeo ladies, Millicent and Syprose, who we would teach the best we could during our stay. The pure dedication from these ladies made the teaching a joy, and they were so thankful that we were teaching them a new skill. On the final day, Millicent and Syprose did a 2 layer print run of 120 cards with minimal misprints and we felt that we had got what we came for.
The cards will be for sale in the UK shortly, fairly traded, 100% handmade recycled paper, printed in the slum with a hinge and piece of ply wood. You cannot get any better! All of the proceeds go back to help the ladies of Kipepeo. Words simply cannot justify the reality of this place, so I urge you to buy a pack of greetings cards that tell a story and change people’s lives.
Infinite Thanks to:
The Sampson Family
The Smith Family
Millicent, Syprose and all the ladies at Kipepeo
Peckham Print Studio