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The blind 'weaving bird'

The blind 'weaving bird' | using social media to reach to our clients who are small scale entreprenures and our stakeholder | Scoop.it

MEET FELISTER WANJIRU, ‘’A BLIND WEAVING BIRD”.DISABILITY IS NOT INABILITY

Felister Wanjiru Ng’ang’a aged 31 years has no dependants and is a member of Pamoja visually impaired SHG in Kiambu county Gatundu North constituency Gathaite location in Kamwangi Sub location..

Felister Wanjiru and her visually impaired friends formed Pamoja visually impaired youth group in 2013 with a common objective of assisting one another through merry go round and starting various projects. The group has a membership of 15 and all the members were visually impaired when the group begun and as the time went by, most of them ended up becoming completely blind and Felister was one of them. Despite being blind,   the members are still pursuing their goals and various talents. They have a tree nursery and makes detergents which they sell to schools and community.

The group was registered with the ministry of Gender, Children and Social development on 26th July 2013. Felister was elected  secretary of the group and since then she has been able to influence the members in doing great group projects and also linking the group to HiHEA for training which they are still undergoing. Training is through word of mouth and sharing information. The group has applied for UWEZO and Youth Fund and they are hopeful to be considered to advance their tree nursery and soap making activities.Felister Wanjiru attended a college for the blind in Machakos from two years between 2011 to 2013.However, she did not know how to transform her skills into an enterprise until she was trained by HiHEA on enterprise management skills.

Felister then started weaving table clothes, after enhancing her enterprise of knitting sweaters which she started in the year 2013.However, she did not have equipment to enable her knit her sweaters well. She organized a fundraising and was able to buy a knitting machine which has hastened her work. She now knits one sweater per day for school going children. A set of seat covers takes her one week to complete and sells it for Kshs.3500 while the materials for one set costs Kshs.2200.

Her enhanced knitting business is very unique in the area since most of the tailors are only involved in knitting sweaters and the normal material table clothes giving her a better competitive advantage in selling her products.

Felister Wanjiru gets customers from the surrounding community and the group members. Some of the challenges she encounters are:lack of wider markets or contracts to knit more sweaters. She also benefited from good leadership qualities and as a secretary she has been able to ensure that the group minutes are always written by somebody that they have elected to write since she herself cannot write because of her impairment.

Felister saves in the piggybank, group table banking and merry go round and has been able to raise capital for enhancing her business by buying materials. Further, she has implemented good record keeping practices and this has assisted her in determining whether she is making profits or losses in her business. She is able to accomplish this through the assistance of a temporary employee. Her impeccable customer care skills have enabled her to attract and retain customers. She is yet to be trained on financial management.

Before HiHEA training, she was earning an average income of ksh 5000 per month, but now earns an average income of ksh 8500 per month. She has been able to employ herself and has created a job for someone since she is always assisted when going to the market to buy materials and keeping records.

She has been able to gain dignity in the society; self confidence and now she is self reliant and can contribute merry go round and table banking without difficulties.

Her future plans are to open a tailoring shop in the nearby market since currently she does her weaving and knitting at home and this will enable her to get access to wider market increase sales and get more income. The group also has plans to start saving with Hand in Hand Eastern Africa in order to access enterprise incubation fund which will boost her business.

 

 

 

 

                                                           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Emily Wanjiku

Emily Wanjiku | using social media to reach to our clients who are small scale entreprenures and our stakeholder | Scoop.it

.though she is physically disabled,Emily is now an entreprenuer making beads for sale to provide for her family.Emily Wanjiku is a married mother of two beautiful daughters and born in 1973. Emily is unique she is physically challenged. However her physical challenge does not deter her from achieving her objectives.

Emily was raised in Daggoreti Children’s home for the disables children. When she was 12 years old she was trained on making of fish flies and bead work at the same children’s home.  On completion of her training she was employed at the children centre feed the children department to make bead art products that were being exported to Japan. She worked at the centre for eight years where the job line closes rendering her unemployed. Due to her physical disability it was difficult for her to get employment. She therefore opened a grocery and deserted her beadwork. It is during this period that a Massai from Tanzania passed at her grocery and notices a bead chain Emily had made. He requested Emily to make some for him. It is at this time that Emily realized that she can still use her bead making skills to make money. She therefore started making beads products for sale as a hobby.

In July, 2011 Emily and some of her friends met Mary the then branch manager of Hand in Hand Kawangware Branch, she introduced them to HiH and assigned them to a Trainer who helped them start a self help group and commenced HiH training.

Thanks to HiH training Emily started taking her Beadwork hobby as a business; she has learned how to persevere and be persistent to her business.  Hence spends the whole day operating her business. She has also involved her husband fulltime in the business; therefore created employment for him. Emily appreciates that she can now be able to handle customers “HiH taught me that a customer should pay a deposit (in cash or material) before I commence work, this will make them committed to collecting the products. This has helped me in reduction of theft of my products by customers who do not pay” Says Emily.

Besides handling customers, she is now able to budget, do financial planning and separate the business and domestic finances. She has appreciated savings where she has been able to save KES 11,000 in her bank account with Equity Bank.

Her income has since increased she makes approximately KES 12,000 per month profits which is an improvement since she joined the HiH program.

 “ I can say am now living a better life, am able to pay for a better house near the road which makes my movement easier, buy food for may family. My daughter is able to go for school tuition which she could not be able to attend previously because am able to pay for it,” says Emily

Emily has also received specialized training on Mat making from Pascal the HiH Business Relationship Officer. This has helped her increase her product line as now she is able to make mats which she has also trained her husband how to make.

Emily also engages three of her group member’s and some neighbors who have beads skills to work on casual basis when she has excess work. She pays them on piece rate.

Emily appreciates that she had a paradigm shift towards business “I have realized that having my own business is good and can employ me fulltime mostly when I plan and take it seriously, I can get a lot of income”.

Kamiliah Mungai's insight:

Demistifynig disability

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Case Study

Case Study | using social media to reach to our clients who are small scale entreprenures and our stakeholder | Scoop.it
Kamiliah Mungai's insight:

These are real inspiring and informative stories from our members.through Hand in Hand Eastern Africa business training of our six modules,these young entrepreneurs have been able to set up small businesses thus able to fight poverty and provide for their families.

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Kamiliah Mungai's curator insight, July 16, 2014 2:11 AM

Micro finance organizations,Governments and other partners can join in ensuring that poverty is driven out and that people live well.

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Social Entrepreneurs

Social Entrepreneurs | using social media to reach to our clients who are small scale entreprenures and our stakeholder | Scoop.it

Access to safe and clean water in Kenya

A group of twenty Kenyan church-going women decided to tackle one of their County’s most protracted environmental and health  problems- the shortage of clean drinking water– and make money to support their families in the process.
The Sisters of Faith undergoing training by a Hand in Hand Eastern Africa trainer.our in ten Kenyans do not have access to safe, clean water. Erratic weather patterns cause regular droughts and there is a limited renewable water supply. As a direct result, sanitation- and hygiene-related illnesses are the number one cause of hospitalization in children under age five in the country.
The Sisters of Faith, experience the effects of water scarcity more than most: they live in Machakos County, 65 km Southeast of Nairobi and one of the driest areas of Kenya. De-forestation has led to gradual erosion of the hilly terrain here. Most people live of family farming in terraces (to reduce erosion and capture water) – but due to the lack of water the county has still experienced famines on a regular basis in the last few years. There is no piped water in the Sisters’ neighborhood.

Working a way out and up 

 
Prior to their training by Hand in Hand Eastern Africa Eastern Africa, the Sisters typically survived on casual jobs, relying mostly or entirely on their husband’s income to support the family. The group’s chairwoman recalls the start of the group in 2011: “When we first heard about Hand in Hand Eastern Africa, we liked what we heard because they did not just talk about money , like so many other NGOs, they also talked about knowledge and skills  – and that is what we needed.“
They rapidly raised a group saving fund worth SEK 50,000 (US$ 690). Together with the business training, loans from the saving fund allowed almost every group member to establish a small business within a year, ranging from crocheting floor mats to retailing vegetables or raising poultry. One of them, Virginia Nzioka says, “I used to be a housewife who had to go to others’ homestead to ask them to give me a job. Now I am someone in society, we don’t struggle to pay my daughter’s college fees and we can still afford salt and sugar”.
Over half of the groups have opened their own bank accounts with encouragement from Hand in Hand Eastern Africa and this has made it much easier to manage their family finances. (Typically, only 38% of people living in rural Kenya have access to a bank account).

Providing safe water, affordably

One year on, Our Hand in Hand Eastern Africa trainer, Robert Ithibua, suggested that the group should explore a more ambitious group venture serving an underserved market. The Sisters identified water as one of the scarcest goods in their immediate area. Safe water was only available from a few isolated water distribution points and a handful of traders selling water at extremely high prices from donkey-carts.
The group agreed a contract with the municipality to deliver water weekly by truck, sourced water purification chemicals and raised a microloan to buy and install a big tank on land donated by their church. In June 2013 the group started selling water on tap, serving their community with affordable, safe water and making a profit before interest of SEK 12,000 (US$ 138) a week.
 

Looking ahead


The Sisters are planning to set up a second tank once they have paid off their first loan. They have this to say: “We are giving Robert [their trainer] more work!” as their example had inspired another group of women in their church to apply for Hand in Hand Eastern Africa training.

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Rescooped by Kamiliah Mungai from using social media to reach to our clients who are small scale entreprenures and our stakeholder
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Case Study

Case Study | using social media to reach to our clients who are small scale entreprenures and our stakeholder | Scoop.it

women from Kenya are forming groups in order to save little money for them to qualify to get small loans from Hand in Hand Eastern Africa.They also go through business training on how to start small  businesses and are now entrepreneurs who have created jobs.

Great effort indeed

Alice Nduku Kingowe, 34, has a 'shamba' or small farm growing green peppers near Tala in Kenya's Machakos County, which she started thanks to a saving group fund supported by NGO Hand in Hand. Before becoming a commercial micro-farmer, Alice used to earn only KES 1,200 (around US$ 14) a week from casual jobs. Now her income has gone up to KES 6,000 (almost US$ 70) a week and she has gained in independence:

I“ don’t have to wait for my husband anymore if we need money for books or uniforms for my daughter, I can just pay for them myself”, she says. With her increased income, the family no longer finds it difficult to pay for both her children’s school fees regularly.
Now that she has paid off her first loan, her next step is to invest in a water-pump with a second loan to diversify her crops and increase her production.
Kamiliah Mungai's insight:

Micro finance organizations,Governments and other partners can join in ensuring that poverty is driven out and that people live well.

more...
Kamiliah Mungai's curator insight, July 16, 2014 2:01 AM

These are real inspiring and informative stories from our members.through Hand in Hand Eastern Africa business training of our six modules,these young entrepreneurs have been able to set up small businesses thus able to fight poverty and provide for their families.