Nancy, Catherine, and Redempta
From the Executive Director, who visited Nancy of the Visionary Sister's group in mid-October:
To say that I was amazed would be an understatement. Nancy left the brothel on 3rd May 2012. She packed her clothes, left some behind, and left for an estate where she had rented a room.
Nancy never looked back. Her sister was running a shop then (she is younger than Nancy and is one of the reasons Nancy joined sex work, to pay school fees for her siblings). Nancy joined her sister at the shop, initially for a pay, but after a few months her sister got married and planned to move to another town to join her husband. Nancy was already plowing her savings into the shop alongside her sister. By August, the sister sold her business shares to Nancy.
Today, Nancy's shop has stock amounting to about $295, every shelf has items for sale. She earns about $129 per month in profit, giving her a very decent life by any Kenyan standards.
This is such a great breakthrough. Nancy wakes gets to the shop at 5:30am and leaves at about 10pm! I marveled at her warm customer care skills, her swiftness, her sharp focus, and great arithmetic skills (she got these skills in the 5 months she went to school with the other 5 women in the Visionary Sister's group). Her current challenge is keeping records. We hope our partnership with Women Centers International will take care of this at the trainings and monitoring.
The attached photo was taken at her shop: Catherine is with Nancy and Redempta, who has become a photographer, and is taken outside Nancy's shop.
We are blessed.
Life Bloom Services International-LBSI
The Visionary Sisters are an outgrowth of Life Bloom Services International and are an example of the exemplary work that can be done by the women who LBSI trains for exit from sex work. Nancy had been trained through LBSI and brought others in her network along with her out of sex work.
The Visionary Sisters group members have regular meetings, and have recently been using the Internet to learn more about Women Enterprise Fund, the Government Department in the Ministry of Gender. Life Bloom has made progress to begin to work more cooperatively with the Ministry of Gender.
Inventory in Nancy's shop