Salom Enterprises was pioneered by Pauline Ntombura, a Kenyan woman temporarily living in England and who discovered by chance that there was a favorable market for the handmade products from her homeland.
With this knowledge she returned to Kenya and established an organization that has helped create steady employment for communities in rural and disadvantaged areas, providing a consistent source of income to almost 1500 families and meeting the demands from the global market.
Kisii stone is a soapstone mined by hand in the Kisii region. The villagers retain fill from mining, so when they have extracted the soapstone, the pit is refilled. After 5 to10 years the soapstone regenerates and new soapstone becomes available. In general, the men do the mining, carving and painting, and the women do the sanding, polishing, washing and packing.
Salom has had a huge impact in the community by contributing to several projects involving schools, water and health facilities. Some of the women in the producer groups are living with HIV and without the chance to earn a living offered by Salom, they would have minimal opportunities. Through fair trade Pauline, and those she works with in Kenya, are supporting themselves and each other to transform their own lives.