The Mumwa Crafts Association

  • Founded:1994 by Mr Kekelwa Mundia
  • Sector: Social Enterprise; Craft Association
  • Location: Headquarters in Mongu working throughout Zambia's Western Province
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Background and History

The Mumwa Crafts Association was established in 1994 under the leadership of Mr Kekelwa Mundia. Its main area of activity is the production and marketing of high quality craft products which it sells locally, nationally and internationally. The Mumwa Craft Association works in all 7 districts of Zambia's Western Province with its headquarters in Mongu. The association now has at least 3500 members with a majority of female members. Mumwa has around 2000 female and 1500 male members. Membership of the association is not limited to craft producers it includes skilled and interested people working in a variety of sectors.

Mission Statement

"The mission of the Mumwa Crafts Association is to enable the community to generate income through crafts, to provide high quality traditional crafts and to uphold traditional values in support of community development"

Long-term Objective

The long-term objective of the Mumwa Crafts Association is to improve standards of living in local communities by providing income through craft production facilitating self-reliance in community development

Organisational Structure

As an organisation the craft association comprises three principal components:

1) A 10 member board with 6 people elected as executive members

2) The management team

3) Community centres in communities across Zambia's Western Province

Each of these organisational arms have different responsibilities.

The Board

The board works to formulate policy and monitors, supervises and advises on the activities of the association. The board also performs any other duties assigned to them at the association's annual AGM.

The Management Team

The Management Team implements policies initiated by the board and has responsibilities for the day to day running of the association.

The Community Centres

The community centres are the vehicles through which much of the association's activities occur. The association has community centres throughout the Western Province. The centres form around and cover a number of villages in a particular locality or area. The community centres are groups of generally around 20 association members who are based in the same or nearby villages. These groups may meet at a particular house or even just under a designated tree. The term community centre refers more to a group of members rather than a physical building or place. The community centres have executive committees who are elected for a period of 4 years. The executive committee members coordinate the centre's craft activities, assess and grade the quality of products produced by members, provide support to members, and coordinate with the wider association's management team. Executive members volunteer they do not receive additional income. The community centres are a diverse mix of people, for example they are not just all female or all elderly groups.             

Craft Production, Marketing and Sale

Examples of Mumwa Craft Association Products

Mumwa's primary area of activity is craft production, marketing and sale. Association members produce a variety of craft products particularly natural fibre products, with production centring around the association's various community centres. Mumwa provides training to craft producers, teaching them new techniques and giving them knowledge about quality requirements and how to produce marketable products. Individual members produce craft products, these products are then assessed by local community centre executive members who give them a quality grading. Mumwa then purchases these products for sale, with specific dates each month established for purchasing. The Mumwa management team receives orders for crafts from national and international buyers, it then liaises with the various craft centres to ensure that these orders are met. Association members receive income from the association through its purchasing of products they make. This is an important source of income for many members and compliments other kinds of livelihood activity they are engaging in.

The profits the association gains from the sale of craft products are used to maintain its operations and are re-invested for a social purpose through various other community development interventions. These interventions and the association's other areas of activity will now be outlined:

Construction of Rural Water Wells

Access to safe drinking water is a major problem for many of the communities the Mumwa Crafts Association works with. In the rainy season water may be polluted, in the dry season water is often scarse. The Mumwa Crafts Association has constructed over 26 wells in local communities. This has helped to address the problems mentioned above, it also assists already overburdened women saving them time and reducing the distance they have to travel to collect water. The creation of these wells has assisted the associations craft producers saving them time, it has also helped reduce instances of water bourne disease and those associated with poor sanitary conditions. 

 Afforestation

Zambia's Western Province is rich in natural resources and the raw materials required for craft production. However there is a danger of these natural resources being degraded or even exhausted if they are not managed in a sustainable way. The Mumwa Crafts Association recognises that with the proper sustainable management these natural resources can be an asset not just for the current generation but also for future generations. Access to natural resources and the sustainable management of those resources is a key part of having a successful craft industry. To this end the Mumwa Craft Association has engaged in a tree planting scheme and has also undertaken an educational awareness campaign on sustainable natural resource management running workshops and holding meetings with local communities. Through these campaigns over 6000 people have been reached and over 11 hectares of indigenous tree species have been planted. These trees have become an additional source of income and livelihood for communities, who now use them for carving and to extract nuts and oil.

New stove kilns: Picture courtesy of Mumwa Craft Association

In addition to the afforestation programme the craft association is also working on a biomass energy project. The project is still in its initial stages however it involves the use of improved clay stoves that consume less firewood and which can use other renewable fuels which are less environmentally damaging. 

 HIV/AIDS Interventions

Finally, the Mumwa Crafts Association is undertaking interventions aimed at supporting those affected by HIV/AIDS. Support is provided to both association members and the wider community. The association also supports HIV/AIDS education and awareness campaigns. The association regards HIV/AIDS as a key cross cutting issue which should be addressed as part of its approach towards community development and poverty alleviation. From an operational perspective HIV/AIDS has the potential to have a serious impact on the association's activities. The association has sought to mainstream HIV/AIDS within the organisation. The association has been involved in training peer educators, has supported community drama groups, has helped establish Anti-AIDs Clubs, and has undertaken community sensitisation and education schemes. 

This is a preliminary profile for the Mumwa Crafts Association. As the project develops and we work further with the association we will build upon this profile. We intend to make available for download a more in-depth case study report about the association and the development work it does. We also intend to make a list of the products produced by the association available for download for prospective buyers and customers.

Mumwa Craft Association HIV/AIDS Drama Group: Picture courtesy of Mumwa Craft Association

Health Awareness Drama Performance by the Mabumbu Youth Group, 7th June 2012 Mongu Western Zambia. Recording by the Trickle Out Project

 

If you would like to contact the association please see the details below:

Mr Kekelwa Mundia (Executive Director)

Physical Address: Plot 720, Mongu/Lusaka Road, Mongu, 10101, Zambia

Tel: +260 722 1263

Mobile: +260 97 781 0160

Email: mundiakeke@yahoo.com

Open Africa Profile: The Mumwa Crafts Association

To download a more in-depth report on the Mumwa Crafts Association case study mapping its sustainable development and poverty alleviation impacts please follow the link below: