Jali is Swahili for “caring.”  To care, be concerned, respect, honor, and regard with esteem.

Mask-wearing is an outward expression of caring for ourselves and for those around us. 

In March 2020, Amy Galland, Founder and Principal of Empower Venture Partners, collaborated with Florence Masinde, Founder of Tushone, to manufacture and distribute masks to two communities in Nairobi. 

Tushone was founded by Florence Masinde in 2000 to train and employ people living in informal settlements in Nairobi to work as tailors.  The demand for cloth masks from Empower Venture Partners and others kept Tushone alive during the COVID-19 downturn, maintained livelihoods for the tailors, and provided hope for many families.

Rates paid to tailors for each mask were set by the tailors and the overall price for the masks was set by Tushone to ensure that a fair price is being paid to produce the products we sell.

The masks are made of Kitenge – a popular East African fabric.  Traditionally, Kitenge is made by batik, but now it is commercially printed.  In East Africa, kitenge is worn as a sarong and wrapped around as a baby sling – but is also used to embellish garments to give them a colorful flair.  We selected Kitenge for the masks because of their bright, colorful prints.  We felt that with a beautiful African fabric, people would be able to be both safe and stylish. 

Together, we provided 21,000 masks – funded by ourselves, our friends, our families, and caring friends of theirs.

In order to continue making and distributing masks in a sustainable way, Amy created Jali Gear – a buy-one, give-one mask-making venture.

For every reusable mask you purchase, the exact same style and quality mask will be provided to someone in either Kariobangi or Dandora, the two communities we have been working with since the beginning.

Masks come in sets of 3 (adult) or 4 (child-size) and each set comes in a kitenge pouch so that if you take your mask off to eat, or if you like to carry an extra in order to switch throughout the day, your masks will stay clean.  The masks are three-layered to meet WHO guidelines, and the third layer is a sleeve if you want to also use a filter.

There are two options for adults:  black & white/neutral and red/blue/green.  There is one option for children:  red/blue/green/multi-colored.

Due to the ever-changing supply of kitenge, we are unable to guarantee that we will have the same patterns from one order to the next, but we will strive to provide sets in these color combinations.

The price is $25 (€20) per set, inclusive of shipping in the US and Portugal.  Please confirm shipping costs with us if ordering to other locations.

Please submit payment and ordering information – including your address – via Venmo (@amygalland) or PayPal (paypal.me/amygalland). You can put your order and address in the comments on either platform.

We are happy to answer any questions you may have. Please contact us at: info@empowervp.com

Jali kwa dunia na vyote viumbe

Caring for the earth and all beings

Cuidando da terra e de todos os seres

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