Sophie and William Ongele (founder of Asango)


Profile of CONTIGO’s partner Asango


  • Wood items
  • Horn items

Nairobi to Göttingen (Source: Google Earth)


Kilimani, Nairobi, Kenya – distance to Europe: 6,400km

Founded in 1992


  • William works in his village as a talented craftsmen with wood and soapstone
  • Export organisation African Heritage hires William to work in their workshops in Nairobi
  • 1992: founding of the family business Asango (headed by Sophie and William Ongele)
  • Specialisation in wood, metal, recycled bone and horn craftsmanship
  • 2005: CONTIGO meets Asango

Cooperation with CONTIGO since 2005

Structure of the business

Number of employees:

  • 50 employees (18 women and 32 men)
  • 22 employees work all year (others are seasonal employees)
  • Cooperation with 12 handicraft cooperatives in Nairobi, Kisii, and Machakos

Organisation of workforce:

  • Creative director: William
  • Application tie dye decoration: William
  • Office, administration and accounting: Sophie
  • Sawing and sandpapering: men
  • Carving and ironworks: men
  • Decorating and finishing touches: women
  • In case of high work load, tasks are diverted to external workshops


  • Home market (10%)
  • Exports (90%) to U.S.A., Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Britain, France, Japan

Special features

Why does CONTIGO work with Asango: Asango is a very cooperative partner and complies with the Fairtrade criteria, Asango also works together with other CONTIGO partners in Kenya


Fairtrade classification

FTA = Fairtrade Approved


Fairtrade aspects


Asango complies with the following Fairtrade Principles:

No child labour

No discrimination

No discrimination due to gender, disability, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, political orientation, or infection with HIV

Fair wages

  • Average salary in region/sector: KSH 10,000/month (KSK=Kenyan Shilling)
  • Salary at Asango: KSH 12,000-26,000/month
  • Salary increases when working on the weekend
  • Bonus paid out for holidays/festive days (Christmas, Easter): KSH 3.000-5.000/holiday

Humane working conditions

Working hours:

  • 8 hours/day
  • Breaks: 1 hour and 45 minutes for tea breaks and lunch
  • 5 days/week

Social benefits:

  • Regular health check-ups
  • Treatment costs in clinics are partially paid
  • Employees are supplied with breakfast and lunch for free
  • Continued payment of wage in case of sickness or accident
  • Paid holidays (17 days)

Educational opportunities:

  • Thorough training of all new employees
  • Variety of training/education opportunity for all current employees

Occupational health and safety:

Protective working gear provided:

  • Protective clothing
  • Breathing masks
  • Welding helmets
  • Gloves


  • Payroll is available
  • Pay slips are available
  • SAR (Self Assessment Report) was duly submitted to CONTIGO



  • Personal visit in Nairobi (2008)
  • Feedback interview during several visits in Germany


Country information

See Encyclopaedia Britannica: Kenya

Author: Janina Lange on 29. June 2016

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