Kianda Foundation's Business Training of Women in Rural Villages, Kenya
Wanjohi Farm, Ngarariga, and ririono, Kenya
Requested NGO and Partner:
Kenya, 2007: a tribal clash erupted over the result of a political election, leaving hundreds of families displaced from their homes and facing the long, hard journey to rebuild their lives from nothing. Many were promised government funding to help their efforts but the payments never came. The Kianda Foundation, an established non-profit in Nairobi that is committed to helping women and families lift themselves out of poverty, has helped more than 200 families who were victims of the clash by purchasing land and successfully relocating them to live there. Those 200 acres in the Kipipiri division of the Nyandarua District, is now called "Wanjohi Farm."
Partnering with Kianda Foundation, Foundation for Women's Advancement is supported an initiative that is giving refugee girls living in Wanjohi Farm the chance to continue their education after it was so violently interrupted. Convinced that education was key to raising these young women from poverty, the Foundation granted scholarships to those in need who demonstrate commitment to their studies. Foundation for Women's Advancement focuses on long-term goals and ensures that recipients have the necessary funding not only to begin or continue, but to complete their studies, be it certification from a technical training school, or graduation from high school. In 2015 we achieved this goal.
In 2016 we continue our partnership with Kianda Foundation to address the need to provide professional training to women so to allow them to start or professionalize their own micro-enterprises. This allows them to generate sufficient income to escape poverty. By giving these women the necessary tools of expertise, we enable them to become productive self-governing citizens, with a understanding of their personal responsibility in the social, civic, political, economic, and moral decisions that shape their own lives. We empower them to reverse their plight—and those of numerous generations to come—because of the multiplying effect that they have on their families and communities.
Total number of women and their families impacted: 1379
Total number of women: 200
BETH has just finished Form 2 of her education. She was explaining how sad she felt when she finished Primary School, because she knew her parents could not afford to take her to Secondary. Her dreams had collapsed and she did not know what she would be doing from then onwards. Life where she lives is not easy and even if she wanted to do some casual work like washing clothes or digging, often it is not available. She thought that at least she had something to rejoice about because all the members of her family were alive after the tribal clashes, and many other families have lost some members.
Then she heard of the possibility of a scholarship from Foundation for Women's Advancement, and she managed to get it. Her life changed, she went to school and even her friends were very surprised to see her there, as they knew she had no money. Not only that, she says how she stays in school during the whole year and finds it surprising, because when she was in primary she would often be sent home for her fees and stay there until her parents would manage to get some money.
She still has some challenges because she cannot buy the textbooks, neither she can go for school trips or buy her basic toiletries, as this is not covered by the scholarship. Nevertheless Beth has been number one in her class and she is very eager to start Form 3 this year.
Jane had tried various businesses but did not know how to keep her accounts and how to separate her business money from her daily family expenses.
After the course she realized of all the things that had gone wrong in the previous business and she had an inspiration: she would make and improve the type of charcoal that she had learnt to make long ago. She now makes with her husband a charcoal which is 'eco- friendly', lasts longer and is therefore cheaper, and does not produce smoke so it is best for the environment and health.
They have already purchased a machine that compresses the product and they have got customers including hotels in the area. They are happy and her husband, who is now retired, is very proud of his wife.