"Our story, it can be done!"

-Rahel Mwitula Williams, Founder

The Beginning

In December 2009, I had an opportunity to travel to Kenya for three weeks through a study abroad program for my Master of Science degree in International Public Service from DePaul University.

When considering why I chose Kenya, I must be honest and say that it was because I knew that it was only 6 hours away from my homeland, Tanzania, and more importantly I will have an opportunity to visit my grandmother. Never in a million years did I think that I would fall in love with Kenya.

Kibera Paper Project

In Kenya, I visited several women's organizations, but one, in particular, stirred something inside of me. Meeting the women of the Kibera Paper Project changed my life and confirmed the one thing I had always known - in Africa, with hope, determination, and hard work, it can be done.

In early 2010, I began volunteering with KPP by helping sell their greeting cards, made from recycled materials, in the United States. Within months of selling cards to friends and family, I realized that my involvement needed a strategic plan.

Our Mission

As a result, ILAVA: It Can Be Done! came into existence. ILAVA serves as a way to help women entrepreneurs in Kenya and Tanzania gain economic security. We connect women with access to resources including networks of people, ideas, financial support and other in kind gifts to achieve their business and personal goals. The women that work with ILAVA express dreams and aspiration to overcome their extreme poverty obstacles.

The Story Continues

Today, ILAVA is a thriving social enterprise and lifestyle brand. Our collection has expanded to include lifestyle fashion, jewelry, handmade cards, and home decor - all with our signature style celebrating a fashion-forward African aesthetic.

Our partnerships with organizations bringing economic and educational opportunities to women and girls have grown along with our business. 

We are proud to work with companies and organizations that are committed to the following:

  • Poverty Reduction

  • Sustainability

  • Promoting Community Development

  • Empowerment of People