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Sasa Designs for the Deaf

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For our Spring/Summer 2014 Collection, Soko teamed up with Sasa Designs by the Deaf to create an exclusive collection of handcrafted products.

Each piece is made and assembled by a woman who is deaf, and some are mute as well. Though these women are brilliant in mind and spirit, their limited abilities to communicate often leave them alienated from their communities and unable to find traditional forms of employment. Sasa Designs By The Deaf provides women in the deaf community of Kenya a great opportunity to take care of their families and show the world that the hearing-impaired can be valuable members of their community.image

With the unemployment rate of deaf people in Kenya at 85%, Sasa Designs has flipped the usual story, providing this pool of talented, able-bodied women with reliable and well-paid employment creating beautiful jewelry.

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The Sasa management team sat down with Soko to describe the unique and fulfilling work they are doing with the deaf community in Kenya in partnership with DOOR International. They described how texting and email have transformed the community. In addition to signing, the leaders of Sasa Designs have learned the unique written language of the Kenyan deaf community, constructed in sentences much like they sign - without punctuation and transitions (much like the text messages of current teens!). Sasa Designs provides not only work for this talented group of women, but also a unique environment for them to thrive in a community of their peers. On any given day, the women can be found doing yoga in the lawn or sharing stories over lunch.

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Sasa’s signature wrap bracelets were assembled in this limited edition piece, the Leather and Brass Wrap, made with leather cord strung with West African brass beads and a custom hand cast Soko tag.

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In the Bone and Lace Earrings, brass wire is skillfully twisted into these beautiful and playful diamond motifs that give an unexpected lightness to the material. The Jio Earrings are a stunning compliment to a little black dress - hand carved geometric bone pieces hang on a delicate elongated brass earring hook.

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