East African Handcrafts
Creatively talented men and women receive a personal opportunity to grow spiritually, skillfully, and sustainably.
East African Handcrafts are a beautiful reflection of how culture and tradition merge with modern style and design. They also present a personal opportunity for every man and woman to grow spiritually, skillfully, and sustainably. Surprised by Hope partners with ministry-aligned handcraft organizations to bring you only the best.
These uniquely handcrafted products are only a sampling of what is actually available. Because our inventory changes every time we see something beautiful, we cannot guarantee that any of the pieces you fall in love with are truly available. But don’t hesitate to ask, we will do whatever we can to find what you want and get it to you at the best possible price.
Shop Current Handcrafts
Buy Your Handcrafts
Handcrafts unite East Africans in their efforts to reclaim pre-colonial culture and tradition. Its rich history of arts and crafts find modern expression in a variety of forms: wood carving, leather work, sculpture and pottery, and ceremonial and religious headgear. Of particular importance is personal appearance, which gives rise to elaborate jewelry and clothing made from locally sourced materials.
The underlying philosophy behind enriching the handcraft experience in East Africa aligns with our desire to see people experience freedom from poverty of body, mind, and spirit. As a result, Surprised by Hope walks alongside handcrafters and the organizations for which they work in a variety of ways including skills development, business education, consulting, spiritual growth, and product sales.
Your purchases not only provide sustainable income for these handcrafters, but also for Surprised by Hope. They make ministry to these crafters possible and so we constantly bring new and beautiful, fairly traded handcraft products to you. Explore a few of the crafting organizations we serve and then browse through our currently available products.
Founded on the premise of changing lives stitch by stitch, Kenana Knitters shares in the stories of rural Kenyan women through their handiwork of unique, hand-knitted creations. What these women produce helps them support farming communities during the dry season and build a secure future for their children.
Euphrasia Women’s Center
This program is designed to empower women, children, and youth wounded by life’s circumstances and who live at the edge of the society by accompanying them in their needs, helping them to reconcile with themselves, God, and others, awakening in them a sense of worth and dignity, and setting them onto a path towards self-reliance and God dependence.
Naramat Authentic Maasai
Narok, Kenya is home to mostly Maasai people where one woman lives and breathes empowerment for these women. She tirelessly unites pastoralist communities, especially Maasai women disadvantaged by culture and the dry environment in which they live, through the making of indigenous crafts that celebrate the Maasai culture and heritage.
A community for refugee girls by refugee girls.
A one-of-a-kind community for young, refugee women to learn, grow, and become leaders in their own right, RefuSHE as an innovative solution within the global refugee crisis—an organization built on the principle that every young woman deserves opportunity.
Jacaranda products are handcrafted by women living in the Nairobi slums. The products are made using locally sourced materials in centers near their homes. Created and crafted with quality, creativity, purpose, and care, Jacaranda products change lives.
Soapstone mining and carving has been going on in Tabaka, Kenya since 1885. Soapstone carving is closely associated with the Kisii people because this is the only place in East Africa where soapstone can be found. Soapstone is a soft stone consisting mostly of talc, a metamorphic rock. Crude tools break the stone out of the quarry, which is where the production process begins.
Women emerge from the hills joining each other for fellowship, devotions, and a wide variety of income-generating projects such as food preparation, knitting, sewing, and basket weaving. These beautiful baskets are made from the sisal plant common to this area of the country. Sisal is a strong fiber that can be woven through with yarn, plastic, or wool to make a variety of beautiful designs with rich colors.