By purchasing a Penduka product you do not just have a beautiful and unique product for yourself, but you also contribute towards a better life for women in Namibia.



By creating beautiful products. Goods you want to buy, because they are authentic and real. They make your house look more beautiful. They tell a story.

The goods are made from environmentally friendly materials. They are practical. And they are not mass products.

Penduka provides work to women in Namibia. This way the women and their families have an income and the downwards spiral of poverty can be broken.

You can see and feel all of this when you are in Namibia and you do a workshop led by Penduka women. When you are in the Penduka village and you grind mahango with a big wooden pestle. Or when you stay over after having listened to centuries-old stories that have been transmitted from mouth to mouth from generation to generation.



  • On-site production plant
  • Embroidery
  • Batik
  • Pottery
  • Beads and jewellery
  • Wire and bead craft

penduka penduka











penduka penduka











penduka penduka


They work from home. The 550 Penduka members get the fabric they decorate with embroidery, delivered at home. The embroidery tells a story using typical imagery of the ethnic groups these women originate from. The women embroider their own life stories, centuries-old, orally transmitted stories, or any story that you would like to be told.

In Penduka’s sewing studio semi-finished products are turned into finished products by the members of Emily’s family. Emily is one of 110 Penduka women who has a permanent contract. In the sewing studio the fabrics are turned into storyboard pillowcases, duvet covers, place mats, tablecloths and bags. It is also the place where big pieces of batik cloth are turned into a finished product. In the batik department the fabrics are painted and decorated.

The glass unit consists of four deaf women.
They sort the glass and grind it into grit, melt it and cast it into glass beads. The glass beads can be bought individually. They are also used to make bracelets, necklaces and table cloth weights.

The glass that is used to make beads, is being collected from the local population. Empty bottles, glass pots, broken windows. Bush glass. Hotels in
the local area donate empty bottles, ensuring less glass is left alongside the road and in nature. In Namibia people don’t collect glass and you don’t pay a deposit on bottles.



1. Penduka Craft Shop

Erf 36, Goreangab, Katutura, Windhoek, Namibia

penduka penduka









penduka penduka


2. Craft Centre

40 Tal Street, Windhoek, Namibia



penduka penduka









penduka penduka











penduka penduka penduka penduka penduka




For Louisa and other women it means that they get the opportunity to provide for themselves. They do that by enriching fabric, clothes, table- and bed linen and all sorts of accessories with traditional and personal embroideries. Collected and recycled glass is being melted and turned into glass beads.

Penduka’s collection is designed and produced using century old craft techniques. By using these techniques the women give their products an authentic and original character. By making these products the women tell a story and they keep their cultural traditions alive!

Louisa was born in Ovamboland, Northern Namibia, March 3 – 1961. She is married and lives nearby Penduka at Goreangabdam. Her husband is unemployed.

Through neightbours she heard about Penduka and decided to have a look. Penduka offered training opportunities to Louisa. She learned embroidery at Penduka in 1997 and still uses these skills, because she is the only one at home supporting her family.


Women can never be educated enough


In Namibia, women like Cecilia are hardly educated at all. Penduka believes that women can never be educated enough. It is not only important for earning money, but also for their personal development. This development is vital for the independence of the women. It allows them to make their own plans for the future and that is what we call empowerment.

Penduka believes in training the trainers. Teachers train new teachers. Penduka women share their knowledge with newcomers. Penduka has educated women who teach English in their spare time. At the recently built Wake Up Montessori School in Windhoek, women are trained to teach children.

Penduka believes in bottom-up
development rather than top-down.
The women indicate themselves in what area more training is necessary. In one of the crafts Penduka employs to design and create their products. In health risks like tuberculosis and HIV AIDS. Or perhaps in management skills. This way women have the opportunity to develop themselves broadly in a variety of fields.

Each year, two of Penduka women go to Europe to transfer their skills to European women by means of workshops. They also to talk about their lives.

Born and grown up in Hereroland. Her husband looking for work came to Oros farm +/- 80 km from Otjiwarongo. Cecilia saw the women doing embroidery work, receiving material and training plus money from Penduka. There was not enough work for women at the farm, that is when she decided to join the embroidery group.

The money she earns from the embroideries makes her life much easier. She has her own money to spend on clothing, food, schoolmoney for the kids and transport. On top of that, Cecilia says that she likes embroidery work very much since she can share something of her own life with others.


Company information


70 employees (Dec/2011)


Address: Erf 36, Goreangab, Katutura, Windhoek

P.O.Box 7635, Katutura, Windhoek, Namibia

Tel: +264-61-257-210, +264-61-309-859

Fax: +264-61-251-445





Estaqblished in 1992, Penduka is a registered Welfare organization WO 116.

When Martha Muulyau was four years old, she was diagnosed with polio. As her back is badly curved due to scoliosis, she has often had to be operated on. Despite these operations, Martha is handicapped. She also wears a pacemaker. It isn’t that surprising that she was happy when she found a job at Ehafo, a project that helps handicapped people in Windhoek.

At Ehafo’s, Martha met Christien Roos. Christien came to Namibia to work for Ehafo after she finished her studies in the Netherlands. In 1992 Martha and Christien co-founded Penduka. They founded this organisation to help disadvantaged women to improve the standards of living for themselves, but also for their (extended) family and their immediate environment.

Penduka achieves this by staying close to the women and by allowing these women to earn a living by doing what they do best: making beautiful products. Penduka encourages these women to use their skills to provide for themselves.



Martha comes from Omishe in Owambaland. She is one of Penduka’s co-founders. When she was diagnosed with polio at the age of four, she went to live with her aunt. Her mother already had three children of whom she had to take care.
Martha now lives at Penduka. She is a teacher and she helps making products for Penduka. Martha wants to build her own house in Katutura, Windhoek’s township. When she is older, she would like to go back to Owambaland. She would like to help the elderly that never managed to leave. Lots of young people move to Windhoek to find work. Their parents and grandparents need to find a way to provide for themselves. Martha supports her family with the money she earns. She pays the food and the tuition fees for her cousins, nephews and nieces.







Women in Namibia suffer from a low social status, which makes it difficult for them to find a job. As a result, the entire family lives in poverty. This vicious circle is often strengthened by a physical handicap or by diseases like tuberculosis and HIV AIDS. Penduka tries to break this negative circle by providing these women with work. This way they can support their families and as a result their social status will improve both within their family and within their local community.

Penduka is a non-governmental development organisation working with women in Namibia. Penduka is based in Katutura, the former black township of Windhoek, the capital of Namibia.

Penduka women make beautiful products. The type of products that you would like to put as an ornament in your house, or use on a daily basis. Products that will enrich your life. In addition the women are trained so as to be able to run Penduka independently and thereby provide for themselves.

A product for you is therefore an income for the women of Penduka. Not only that, but by buying products you also contribute towards financing Penduka’s educational- and health projects.


  • provides work for about 660 women, 110 of whom are on a permanent contract and 550 of whom work as a so called member;
  • supports nearly a thousand tuberculosis patients in nineteen clinics;
  • was founded in 1992 and is not dependent on subsidies or donors;
  • organises exchange programmes between the Netherlands and other European countries;
  • gives out interest free loans and helps women getting loans for their studies or to buy a house


Project and Programs

Penduka fights tuberculosis

In 1998 Penduka set up a tuberculosis programme in cooperation with the Ministry of Health & Social Affairs. With this programme, Penduka encourages tuberculosis patients to finish their treatment by offering:

  • a free meal every day
  • distributing medication following the Direct Observation Therapy (DOT)
  • training in crafts making
  • counselling for TB/HIV AIDS
  • weekly health education sessions
  • a buddy system, to prevent relapse
  • five community gardens enable patients to cultivate their own food

Since August 2010 Penduka TB has supported 657 patients through a +/- six months successful pulmonary tuberculosis treatment.

Penduka in the informal settlements and rural areas.

Not all the Penduka women live at Penduka. That is why Penduka trainers visit the members in the informal settlements nearby and in the rural areas. Members are being trained in:

  • embroidery techniques
  • how to tell stories through embroidery
  • how to earn money and how to put it into savings
  • mother and child care
  • how to prevent themselves from contracting TB/HIV/AIDS

Women Get Going

Through radio broadcasting and posters, abused women get in touch with Penduka, where sharing and support brings relief and hope.


Many of the Penduka women have their own brick house, bought with interest free loans.

Design Workshops

Twice a year Penduka organises workshops in collaboration with young, local and overseas designers. Together they work on innovation and new products for Penduka. Penduka depends on sales of products to run the programme.
Association Penduka Multi- Cultural invites two Penduka women to visit The Netherlands every year. A special experience when you have never been abroad, or even out of your daily home situation. During the visit focus is on:

  • information sharing
  • exchange and extra work related training
  • meeting others
  • fundraising for a special Penduka need
  • organizing creative and cooking workshops




Category: Handicrafts and Accessories, Region: Khomas