Beldine Ongoya

Kibera, Kenya

Beldine is an experienced stitcher and advocate who lives in the informal settlement of Kibera, Nairobi with her husband and two children. Her first experience of embroidery came in 2019 when she produced a story for the Women’s World Quilt. In 2020, Beldine joined her close friend Stella Makena and ten other women in Kibera to produce stories for the Kenya COVID Quilts. The following year she stitched a lion for the Sister Artists 2 quilt challenge that was quilted by Cathey Labonte in Connecticut and auctioned. Making embroidery for our store was a natural next step and Beldine hopes to find a market for her blocks because money has been tight since the pandemic. She earned a diploma in accountancy at college, but has not been able to find steady work since. Beldine is active in Shield of Faith, a women’s association that formed in 2020 to organize the COVID embroidery training and has since broadened out to tackle social problems in Kibera. 

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Work by Beldine