Economic Empowerment Archives - CREAWKENYA

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April 22, 2022by CREAWKENYA

45-year-old Jane Wangechi Ngoge, has revolutionised her life, from being the down trodden woman who lived from hand to mouth, to a successful entrepreneur, striving so hard to break the glass ceiling of agribusiness in the capital city of Nairobi.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic struck in 2020, the mother of 3 was having marital challenges with her partner. His meagre income as a mason could not sustain the family comfortably. She started selling samosas by the roadside in her neighbourhood in Kayole, however this was short-lived.

“During lockdown and restriction of movement in the country, my world came crumbling down. My husband left. I had to start doing menial jobs to support my children and I. The jobs were also not easy to come by,” Narrates Wangechi, as she recounts the challenges she went through to ensure she provides basic needs for her children.

It was during her low moment that she was listening to a radio show where CREAW’s toll free number 0800 720 186 was shared for anyone who needed psychosocial support. Luckily for her, she was interrogated and put under the 3 months’ cash transfer program, which sought to cushion families from the adverse effects of COVID-19.

“When I got the first cash transfer of Kes 7,000, I started selling fruits around my neighbourhood. I joined a chama where I was saving Kes 300 every 2 weeks. When I got the second and third instalments, I opened a shop coupled with an M-Pesa agency,” Says Wangechi as she chuckles.

That was never the end for her. Wangechi was among beneficiaries who went through business development training, where women were taught on how to budget, do record keeping as well as finding market for their products.

“Access to information and business skills remain a major challenge to women survivors of GBV. Providing training on financial literacy and life-skills is crucial for efficient use of financial services and products. With the right training, they are able to revive their businesses, acquire productive assets and save for their future plans,” Confirms Moses Okello, the Women Economic Empowerment Lead at CREAW, who has been supporting women under the program rebuild their life post-COVID-19.

With the introduction of Jasiri Fund, the first of its kind financial inclusion program for survivors of gender based violence to access affordable loans, Wangechi took a loan of Kes 90,000, which she used to restock her business as well as hired a motorbike operator who has been supporting her in delivery of goods as well as transportation.

“From the money I had saved in the Chama, I got a dairy cow which delivered recently. I milk 13 litres of milk daily and I sell a litre of fresh milk around my neighbourhood at Kes 70. I also added some chicken, two goats and two pigs.’’

Through the business training she underwent, Wachechi has mastered the art of creating several flows of income. From the milk she sells, she makes roughly Kes 910 daily, whereas the shop has become her other economic backbone. In a good week, she fetches Kes 3600 in profits.

“I am now comfortably supporting my children. My firstborn son joined university recently. I am happy to say that my life feels like a dream come true. I never thought that I could one day run

successful businesses as well as comfortably take care of my family single handedly,” Smiles Wangechi.

She has been comfortably doing her monthly loan repayments of Kes 8,000 per month and looks forward to taking up another loan to help her purchase a piece of land where she will fully venture into agribusiness. From doing menial jobs to now being an employer of 3 staff looking up to her, Wangechi now exemplifies the face of resilience and what a woman can do when economically empowered.


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January 14, 2022by CREAWKENYA

Down the alleys of Leisha neighbourhood in Mombasa county, one of Kenya’s capital city, is where Evelyne Adhiambo Ngoto has set up her water vending business. The industrious 26 year old mother of one, is busy packaging the water into smaller cans for vendors who will collect them later.

Her working area is a beehive of activities. She has just gotten 7,000 liters of water from her supplier and she has to get down to business and ensure all her clients get some water before she closes shop. She is happy to have chosen the best business venture, since Mombasa county is always marred with water shortages making many households depend on her services to access clean water for house hold use.

“ I am always here by 8am after I have dropped my son to school. Most food vendors here are my clients so I have to get here in good time for their sake,” Says Evelyne.

Behind her enthusiastic baritone voice, is a woman who has battled many forces to secure her sanity and peace of mind. The Covid19 pandemic struck at a time when her business was struggling, worse still, she was not in talking terms with the father of her son. They had gone their separate ways.

“I was worried about my son, since I was not in a position to financially cater for his needs. The father was in a position to support the boy but I didn’t think it was his obligation to do so,” Chuckles Evelyne as she explains the steps she took towards finding a solution to her predicament.

The emotional burden weighed her down to the point of seeking counseling to help her cope with the drastic changes in her life. Through CREAW’s toll free line of 0800 720 186, she was able to access a counsellor and went through counselling. However, it was also brought to her attention that the she needed support with the son, hence the boy’s father needed to chip in to support him. A legal officer was assigned to her case to help summon the father of her child for mediation in order to come to agreements of how best they can co-parent.

“He agreed to pay for his education and health expenses. I felt a heavy burden lifted from my chest because I could now focus on reviving the business, which would help cater for our other basic needs like food, shelter and clothing,” Confirms Evelyne.

Like a stroke of luck had fallen on her side, Evelyne was among women who were supported through cash transfer amid the pandemic, to help cushion them from the adverse effects of COVID-19 on business. She was able to buy another 7,000 Liter tank of water and diversified her fresh water vending business.

“I have a bigger space at my shop, I wish to start selling fish and a grocery stall at the side to maximize on capital and the rent am also paying,” Insinuates Evelyne, as she looks to applying for Jasiri Fund, to allow her expand her business.

According to Evelyne, her water and Ice business depends on weather patterns and that on a dry season she makes a combine income of between Ksh 1500 and Ksh 2000, while on a rainy season she makes an average income of Ksh 800.00. She uses the profit to meet her basics needs and that of her son.

While government initiatives encourage enterprise development, most respondents, who participated in a study by the International Centre for Research on Women and Kenya Association of Manufacturers in 2020, reported difficulties in accessing those funds. Instances of sexual exploitation in exchange for credit facilities and compliance clearances were mentioned.

At the moment Evelyne has managed to pick up the pieces of her life and started living by herself, away from her mother whom she lived with when things fell apart. Her clarion call to women facing violence or any form of abuse: Stand up for yourself, there are others fighting for you, don’t let their efforts go in vain.

 

 

 


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July 4, 2021by CREAW

Getting into Kayole, an informal settlement within Nairobi, is not a walk in the park. The place is a beehive of activities, as everyone busies themselves with the hustle and bustle of eking a living. At the Masimba junction, we meet Raphaela Wangari, busy tidying up her shop. She has just received a new stock of eggs to add to what she had. Minutes later, her general store, commonly referred to as a duka, is a swam of activities as clients line up to buy basic commodities found at her shop.