A group of ladies in the rural traditional pastoralist town of Lekiji, Kenya, have formed a group named Baraka (Blessing). The group was formed to explore economic opportunities after participating in Strength-Based Approach (SBA) training. This type of training helps people to see, use and grow strengths, abilities and assets that they already have.
Baraka is a group for women to come together and pool resources so that they can save money, learn new skills and start a business. At first, they learnt about how to manage their money, each member contributing a small amount every month, which enabled them to open a bank account to finance activities. Since then, they have been trained in small farming activities to establish kitchen gardens for better nutrition, poultry farming and bead-work. The bead-work has proven very popular, attracting people from surrounding areas and ranches.
The trainings and regular group meetings not only promote economic resilience for the women; they also provide an opportunity to come together to learn about health and safety, and to support each other in challenging circumstances. Recently, bead-work training was run by a Community Health Volunteer (CHV), Bernadette. While teaching women bead-work skills, she has also been educating women and men on COVID-19 prevention and encouraging women to come forward if they or someone they know experiences family violence.
The women in the group are grateful for the trainings that they have received, as it has helped them gain a level of independence and self-reliance that they didn’t have before. Women in these communities are usually reliant on their husbands and often don’t have much say in household matters. With the opportunity to earn money, women are also having more of a say in the running of their homes, and that is giving them a voice within their community and the confidence to ask for help if they are being harmed.
The ‘Imarisha Maisha’ program in Kenya is supported by the Australian Government and donations from the Australian public through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP). We are proud to partner with the Australian Government in delivering this program.
To support the Imarisha Maisha program select ’10. Kenya – Imarisha – Building safer communities’ from the drop-down menu on our donate page.