In the Pregnant Women’s Groups funded by last year’s Team Mum appeal, young mums are taught everything they need to know about feeding their babies and keeping them healthy. During the training sessions, social mobilisers use specially-designed crocheted training boobs to demonstrate the best breastfeeding techniques. These tips can make a huge difference to new mums.
We recently caught up with Namsi, the brilliant Nairobi-based creator of the crocheted training boobs, to learn a bit more about her story and expert craft. She grew up in a small town called Taveta near Kenya’s border with Tanzania, where her grandmother and mother passed down their clever crafting skills to her - and she’s been crocheting ever since.
Coming up with a new design, choosing colors, buying different kinds of yarn for the project is my favourite part of the creative process.”
In 2006, Namsi moved to Nairobi for education and eventually settled for work and started a family. It wasn’t until about eight years later that she decided to turn her creative passion into a proper business venture. Her foray into crocheted boobs and other birth and perinatal training resources came later in 2017 when Namsi was approached by a Kenyan lactation consultant who needed childbirth models.
Nowadays she turns out fifty to sixty crocheted boobs a year - all by herself - and ships them to customers all over the world! Namsi said she was excited for her crocheted training aids to be used in our Team Mum programmes, adding that "breastfeeding is a child's right to eat, breastfeed them today for a healthier tomorrow."
Crocheted boobs have become one of the most popular items on Namsi’s online shop, along with other lovely one-of-kind items including shrugs, shawls, beanies, and scarves. Unfortunately, like so many small business owners, Namsi has struggled with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Not only have her shop sales dropped whilst shipping prices have risen, but she’s also been unable to move around town to gather craft supplies as a result of lockdown. If you’re looking for beautiful handmade crafts, please consider supporting Namsi.
We are immensely grateful for Namisi’s incredible work and for playing a vital part in Team Mum.
Our 2020 Team Mum campaign will fund our innovative maternal health projects, including launching a brand new Baby Box project that will reach 500 new mums