A Kushuka Necklace
As with all Vision Africa partner projects, Seed of Hope has been set a challenge as we celebrate our tenth anniversary. By December 2013 they should be earning 30% of their budget through income generating activities (IGAs) with a view to this number increasing to 50% by 2015. This is the first step towards a sustainable future for projects which are making a difference to the lives of disadvantaged children and youths in Kenya.
In recent months, the headteachers of our four Seed of Hope centres have been working with our new team member, Ruth, to plan how they can develop existing income generating activities and initiate new ones which will help provide funds for the running costs of their centre. Staff who work at each of the projects were invited to attend a workshop which offered training on marketing, record keeping and business development. The idea behind this was to build their capacity and give them the knowledge and skills they need to run a successful business.
It is anticipated that development of the IGAs will lead to increased participation of the communities in which Seed of Hope operates. Members of the local community will be customers for produce that is sold, fee-paying students for training courses that are on offer, volunteers donating their time and skills to work with the project or will be able to donate materials to get projects started.
Our Seed of Hope centre in Kariti is leading the field in terms of setting up IGAs. They have now expanded their curriculum and taken in fee-paying students in Hair and Beauty and Computer Studies. They are also making use of their land to grown maize and vegetables and rearing chickens and a cow. Njambi, the headteacher at the centre says “It’s important for us to be self-reliant as NGO funds can stop any time. We're a community based program and if we're self-reliant the community can be proud of themselves for what they give the centre.”
It has been an exciting time for our Nairobi centre. Crafted, a fashion brand set up as a social enterprise, has been working with an international jewellery designer to develop a collection called “Kushuka”. This will feature in the Edinburgh Festival in August and is currently on sale in Nairobi. The students and graduates involved in the process were thrilled to see their products on the catwalk.
As our Seed of Hope centres take steps towards sustainability, we appreciate all the supporters who have brought us to where we are now and ensured that Seed of Hope has been able to change the lives of disadvantaged teenagers. Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this project through Global Giving.
This Wednesday, 13th June, is Bonus Day on Global Giving and all donations to this project will be matched. Please help us spread the word to allow us to take advantage of this special offer from our friends at Global Giving and make an even bigger difference to the lives of our students.