Kicheko Goods designs and manufactures jewelry for which some of the proceeds are invested in education.
The social value of shopping with Kicheko Goods is detailed clearly on the company’s website. Each piece of jewellery will fund one month of schooling for a child in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It’s a refreshingly solid and measurable piece of information for socially-minded consumers who might be used to rather more vague pronouncements from brands about what ethical impact their purchases make.
Kicheko was founded in 2014 by Sarah Bayot, an American with twin passions of design and community development. Meaning “Smile” or “Laughter” in Swahili, Kicheko retails uniquely-designed jewellery – earrings and necklaces – that is designed and produced by Bayot in partnership with artisan designers and manufacturers all over the world.
From the very beginning, Kicheko was established as a social impact venture. DR Congo was chosen as a location that could benefit from proceeds as Bayot had spent time in the country and had witnessed the problems that poverty and conflict have on children and families.
Kicheko works to support local families and ensure that children who would otherwise miss out get a proper education. To date, jewelry sales through the company have provided over 2500 months of education to local children as well as giving local teachers and administrative staff the chance to earn a livelihood.
“It’s incredible to see Congolese working together to bring tangible hope to their communities” says Bayot, talking about the effect the school has had. “I’ve seen what people are capable of – their vision, strength, love and resilience. It’s so motivating as a citizen of this planet to be able to connect here in my city but also with a community halfway around the world.”
“Poverty and the threat of conflict are often destabilizing forces making consistent employment difficult. On average, families have more than 4 children in each household, making the decision who to send to school challenging.”