Jedida at her newly established business
Many parents are driven by dreams that their children’s lives will be better than their own. Yet many of these parents in the most vulnerable families in our working areas lack access to knowledge, capital, markets, technology, and information they need to build thriving businesses. We believe that household economic strengthening is building the capacity of the men and women in our intervention to participate in, contribute to and benefit from economic opportunities in ways that recognize the value of their contributions, respect their intrinsic dignity, build stronger families and improve the quality of life for all members of the family. Economic Empowerment is not an end in itself, but a tangible expression of care that radically changes the lives of children and their families that may lead to transformation lasting for generations.
During the reporting period the following were carried out:
- Seminars/life skills: We facilitated seminars and life skills to empower beneficiaries on approach, behavior and personality for their overall development.
- Economic empowerment - The idea of the seed capital is to enable beneficiaries invest in firewood business etc. During the quarter, some of our beneficiaries supplied uniforms to Macheo, some supplied fruits while others were linked to markets where they supplied fruits and cereals.
- Follow-up home visits – Home visits were conducted to make follow ups and carry out assessment for new clients. We then worked side-by-side to build the family’s capacity and confidence to achieve set goal.
“The only reason I got involved in stone crushing is because, compared to other small businesses, it does not require much capital.”
Jedida Mbithe is a 38-year-old separated mother of seven in the Umoja village. Following her separation with her husband, Jedida who had been financially dependent on him, had to work harder than ever before. She became involved in various small-scale income generating activities but, despite being labour intensive, they awarded little cash. These included washing other people’s clothes as well as rearing chicken. Out of the different income activities, Jedida found crushing stones into gravels as the most tiring as well as the unhealthiest. In addition, this activity is very time consuming, as it required her and her children to collect and carry heavy stones.
After identification and months of constant follow up by our economic strengthening officer, we provided Jedida with a start-up capital and started a green grocer. A natural entrepreneur, Mutheu took full advantage of Macheo’s support for small business development and is now running her businesses based in her community that have substantially improved her income and capacity to support her family’s basic needs. She is also participating member in a group formed within Umoja by beneficiaries who have gone through Macheo and she has saved money to expand her business.
Reason for Success
Part of the success in the program is to include men and boys in this process as champions of women entrepreneurs. We are involving them to enhance their understanding about the power of entrepreneurship and how supporting their wives, mothers and daughter can have a profound influence on their families and communities.
We have also established a group in this area of Umoja, by which members are beneficiaries of Household Economic Strengthening. The members can save and access credit to expand their businesses if need be arises.
*Name changed to protect protection purposes.