tailoring trainees in class learning vowels and forming words
Jitokeze Wamama Wafrika seeks to build women’s capacities to access resources such as income, credit, markets, agricultural inputs, as well as the social support they need to break free from the chains of poverty and vulnerability to droughts and conflicts by providing them with basic training in tailoring and sustainable agriculture.
This year we have added 17 new students most of who comes from Kapenguria, Morpus and Lomut wards. Most of these girls knew that they will just be trained in sewing products but in our desire to empower them in all spheres of life we also offer them basic computer training, agro forestry and crops production training, poultry keeping practices and basic reading and writing training along with the tailoring training.
Ruth Chelimo, one of our students and a class 6 drop out expressed her heartfelt gratitude to the organization and to all the staff members for believing in them and offering themselves to help. She shares that simple as it may sound, she did not know how to perform simple calculations or construct sentences and communicate effectively. But because of the training she is receiving, she has hope and her mind has broadened.
Just like Ruth, most of our students did not get a chance to even complete their primary education and as such they face a major challenge when it comes to reading and writing. As a result, we decided to introduce basic reading and writing classes to help them learn how to read and perform simple calculations to increase their chances in this competitive world.
A SUCCESSFUL MOBILIZATION ACTIVITY
Cheman Brick Makers’ chairman addressing his group Members during a field visit.
Nonetheless we have been very encouraged by most farmers that we reached during the mobilization process who embraced the program with great expectations. For instance, Cheman brick makers were initially a youth’s group specializing in brick making but after hearing of the food security program Jitokeze has been implementing, they decided to venture into agriculture. The group chairman Mr. George shared with us that in as much as they are not abandoning bricks making, they are ready to engage in farming in order to generate food for themselves and the community. He even shared with the group about what he had learnt concerning the existence of a variety of rice that was drought tolerant, a fact that surprised the group members who knew nothing about rice farming. This Self Help Group is among those who are currently planning to plant green-grams, cowpeas, rice and tissue culture bananas once they get access to the seeds and seedlings for these Drought Tolerant Crop and trees.
IMPROVING SOCIO-ECONOMIC STATUS OF VULNERABLE WOMEN PARTICIPATING IN THE INCOME SECURITY PROGRAM
The ladies who were trained in the program last year have been able to benefit from the commission they have generated from the products that they have made through this program,
Prisca Chepkiach had this to say about how she the commission she has earned in this program has helped her
“The money I got through my commission helped me buy a goat for myself, at the moment my goat is at home with my parents in Cheptulel, Central Pokot and it is now benefiting my family as well because it produces milk that my family consumes, at the moment she is pregnant and am excited about it because when I return home for this August holiday I will be there to receive another family member into our herd of goats.”
Prisca showing the wallets that she has learnt to make through this program
Naomi one of our most shy students had this to say about the impact this program is having in her life “
As for me, the commissions that I have earned from my hard work has really boosted my self confidence and self esteem and everything about me and my work and I can not wait to do more sewing of other diverse products and designs and help others from my community through the skill and the commission that I generate here at Jitokeze. I am very glad that I joined Jitokeze Wamama Wafrika, they have helped to build me up and I know that I will learn more good things and have more opportunities to grow here
Naomi showing off one of the bags that she has learnt to make through this program
In the recent past, the ministry of roads in West Pokot County have been hard at work using their huge graders to pave roads all around the Kapenguria areaa. In this process many people ended up losing their houses, toilets, gates, fences and other property, because these properties were constructed on portions of land demarcated for roads and pavements in the old map of Kapenguria town. Sadly Jane Njeri, one of our oldest students in the program,was one of the people who lost a portion of her home in this process. The process of rebuilding their home was psychologically and financially difficult for her and her family. At the end of last term she had made a good amount of income from the commissions she generated by making laptop bags, this income was very instrumental in helping her to rebuild her home. Many women in our Income security Program go through struggles such as these and they are all motivated and working hard to build their economic capacity hoping that someday they will not be as vulnerable as they are today.
Jane Showing off one of the laptop bags that she learnt to make through the income security program
WORKING TOGETHER TO SUPPORT VULNERABLE GIRLS IN MORUPUS RESCUE CENTER
We have a very special relationship with Morupus Rescue Center, a Primary school in West Pokot County that provides education and shelter to girls who have run away from their homes in order to escape female genital mutilation and forced early marriage. Most of these girls have had to severe their ties with their families in order to escape from these types of oppressive practices prevalent in the culture of the Pokot. These girls live like orphans in Morupus trusting in God to provide for their needs through well wishers in the community. These girls hold a very special place in our hearts and our mission as an organization and that is why we do our best to help meet some of the needs that they have.
Rescued girls in Morupus singing in celebration for the construction of the Sanddam that will ease their access to water
Our relationship with them started with the construction of a sanddam on river Tatwa that borders the school and now provides the school and the surrounding community with water for domestic and agricultural uses. We also support them with relief food supplies during periods of drought and hunger that hits the school really hard, we purchase these food supplies from our farmers in the lowlands areas who are participating in the project of establishing the value chains for the drought tolerant crops, white sorghum and green grams, in this way we facilitate the farmers to access a market for their surpluses while facilitating the vulnerable children in Morupus to access the much needed food during times of drought and hunger. We have also supported them with chickens that they are now raising in the school to help meet the food needs of these children. Last year we made the decision to facilitate the ladies in the Income Security Program to utilize the skills that they have learnt on sewing uniforms to make uniforms for these vulnerable girls, thus last year we donated sets of uniforms to six vulnerable girls in Morupus, at the beginning of this year we also donated another six set of uniforms and in January Next year we target to donate 50 sets to the girls in Morupus that are participating in the food security program.
Prisca cutting some of the shirts to be sewed for the rescued girls in Morupus
Last quarter we facilitated the ladies in the Income Security Program to start producing the 50 sets of uniforms needed for donations to the rescued girls in January next year. In this manner the ladies earn some income through commissions that they make by producing the uniforms to be donated to the vulnerable girls in Morupus who are also working very hard to overcome the challenges of poverty and oppressive cultural practices.