Now that graduation is over, it’s time for Seed of Hope Class of 2010 to get down to business...literally. It’s now time for them to put into practice all that they have learned and start becoming independent young women.
For one graduate at our Nairobi centre, last Saturday saw her dreams turn to reality as she was given a graduation present of a sewing machine from a group of supporters from Nairobi Chapel. A few months ago we told the story of how the group from the neighbouring church had been amazed at the distance Winnie walked to school each day, having visited her home as part of an exercise to learn about Seed of Hope. Every day, Winnie left home at 6am to reach school by 8am and then had the same two hour walk to get home at the end of the day. Despite this, she had one of the best attendance records and was one of the most punctual students. Whilst visiting her home, the group from Nairobi Chapel learned that she lives with her sister who has two young children and life is not easy for the family. Touched by Winnie’s story and her dedication to her studies, they decided to buy her a sewing machine so that she can start working towards the “wonderful future” she told us that she strives for.
Winnie has been joined by another two girls to start up their small business in Kibera called "Joyful Dressmaking Shop". One of these is Peninah, a graduate from 2009 who has been working for Crafted recently and is now looking to build up a business. She will make a contribution to the start-up costs from money that she has earned in her time with Crafted. The third partner in the business, Hamisa, has strong support for her family with her mother investing in an ironbox, mirror and fabrics. It is anticipated that this partnership will result in a successful business as everyone has made an investment and is willing to work hard. This week, the girls collected their first rent installment from Seed of Hope and set up their shop using garments made in their time at school to complete the display. Another two small businesses will also be set up in other parts of Nairobi by some of the other students.
Not all those who graduated this year have joined a group business. One graduate was offered a job at a local textile business which produces children’s clothes and toys. Another girl has returned to her rural home to set up a business on her own. After completing her course, her aunt felt that she could assist her and provide all that she needed with the exception of a sewing machine which was provided by Seed of Hope. Having been a hard-working student in school and with the strong support of her family we are sure that this is another business that will take off.
These are just a few stories from our Nairobi centre. Our other three centres are going through the same process of setting up Roots businesses at the moment with 6 new businesses in Kisii, 5 in Kitui and 4 in Kariti. We look forward to bringing you more updates over the next few months.
Thank you to everyone who has supported Seed of Hope through GlobalGiving and made it possible for us to train our students and provide them with the sewing machines, rent and licences they require to start up their businesses.
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