Out Of Katutura is a collaboration of two projects, the IYaloo Project and the Matukondo Doll Project.
The IYaloo Project was started in 2005 by four unemployed women of Katutura. Kornelia, Beata, Maria and Emilia combined their skills to alter, repair clothing and make pet baskets for cats and dogs.
After receiving a large donation of bean stuffing and material, they expanded their product range to include the production of beanbags. While making beautiful beanbags, the IYaloo women also started making unique and interesting handbags using discarded vinyl LPs. The eye-catchingly attractive LP handbags generated so much local interest, a prominent businessman created a market for the IYaloo LP handbags in his native country of Italy, where the bags continue to sell to this day. The Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) also heard about the interesting handbags and donated thousands of old vinyl LPs to the IYaloo Project.
All the unique products made by the women of the IYaloo Project are sold at the Namibia Crafts Centre. The women produce their goods at the Soutere Centre in Goreangab, Katutura.
The Matukondjo Dolls Project is a a true example of sustainable self-empowerment. Founded in 2003 by a former kindergarten teacher, the original eight members of the Matukondjo Dolls Project are still the primary producers of a charming collection of 100% child-friendly rag dolls.
At the beginning of the project, after hours and days spent practising, the remarkable range of Matukondjo Dolls emerged which included a Big Mama doll, a Sister Baby doll and a Simple Doll Dress. The fabrics used to make the dolls are selected with the greatest care and with child-safety as a top consideration. Each of the women involved in the making of the dolls uses her own cultural approach to design and decorate the dolls and not long after, smaller dolls such as the Twin Baby and Back Baby were added to the range.
The women of the Matukondjo Dolls Project started off with very little. Due to their perserverance, personal investment and the consequent success of the unique dolls, Meriam, Magda, Drotea, Olivia, Josephina, Mariana, Alina and Tusnerde today each own a sewingmachine and economically support directly and indirectly an estimated total of 42 Namibians.
The Matukondjo dolls are sold at the Namibia Craft Centre, the Penduka shop in Katutura, by the Gondwana Collection of lodges, Wolwedans Estate and Mushara Lodge.