Women are the pillars of the society and when we see one succeed and follow her dreams we fill we are living our mission which is to empower marginalized women to access, own and sustainably manage productive assets and participate in the peace building process in their communities. Lilian Lomuthono, 30 years old and a mother of five has been with us since last year and she has shown remarkable performance both in class and in other activities.
Before Lilian joined us, she used to make charcoal and sell to sustain her family. She narrates that her husband is a casual labourer and although he could make some money, he left the responsibility of raising the children on her. She longed to give her children the best life but she could not afford due to lack of finance.
‘When I heard of Jitokeze Wamama Wafrika, I knew that was an opportunity that was going to change our lives forever. I never went to school when I was young but I was ready to give it a try and I decided to talk to my husband’
Although her husband did not decline her request directly, he made it clear that he was not going to look after the children and be laughed at by people for being over powered by a woman. This gave her a hard time but her 11 years old daughter who is her first born agreed to look after her siblings as her mother attends the tailoring training. Although very hard, Lilian left her 4children under the care of her 11 year old daughter and started the training.
After just one year she has acquired a lot of skills and knowledge in making the different products and she is even earning commission from the products she makes for the organization to sell. She shares that her life has changed greatly because she has found a part time job in a tailoring shop at Morpus centre where she works on weekends when she is not at the centre. ‘I can make skirts, blouses, school uniforms and children clothing without any difficulties.’ The money she gets sustains her family while she is at school and some of it she uses to purchase materials to make clothes for them. ‘I have been transformed from burning charcoal to a dress maker and at the moment my employer has left her shop under my care as she is on maternity leave. I have come to believe that it is possible to achieve anything we set our mind on provided we are determined and we are ready to sacrifice and work towards achieving our dreams.
Lilian is looking forward to graduating at the end of this year and getting a sewing machine from the organization to start her own business and give her children the good life that they deserve.