Women’s empowerment in Kenya is all about saving time and creating opportunities for education and income. Much of a woman’s day in rural communities is spent gathering water and firewood, and cooking over an open fire inside their huts. It’s dark, smokey, and often they develop respiratory issues as a result.
In addition, women and girls often struggle with menstruation and having access to feminine hygiene products to manage their periods. Often girls will be forced to drop out of school after missing several days a month due to menstruation.
Even if there is feminine hygiene products available, underwear can be scarce, especially for women in the slums and girls in rural Kenya.
Our Women’s Initiatives address these three areas.
Beginning in the Summer of 2015, we helped establish a Days for Girls Enterprise in Nairobi, assisting with fundraising for Christine Sakali to attend the Days for Girls University in Uganda. Christine already had a sewing center where she was employing women from the slums. After becoming certified as an Ambassador for Days for Girls, she began sewing the reusable feminine hygiene kits to distribute to girls in Kenya.
Rather than bring kits from the United States, we wanted to support Christine’s enterprise, and keep the economy in Kenya. We began fundraising for $10 per kit, to allow Christine to purchase supplies and pay her team to sew the kits. Each kit can last up to 3 years when taken care of, allowing a girl to stay in school, rather than miss due to menstruation.
We also helped establish a second Days for Girls Enterprise in Bomet, Kenya, led by our Community Director, Anita Byegon. Between the two enterprises, we have distributed over 5000 kits to women and girls in Kenya, with a goal of 1000 kits each year. The workshops include hygiene, self-defense, and reproductive training, encouraging girls to avoid sex and stay in school.
Marissa Waldrop, our Program Director, is a professional seamstress. She created a 3 piece underwear pattern to make and distribute to girls in the rescue centre we support, and for Christine and Anita’s teams to distribute to women in need. We also have local sew-a-thons to involve our communities here in the U.S. and we take the underwear to Kenya on expeditions. Underwear can prevent rape in Kenya besides providing dignity for women and girls
Cindy Miller heads up The HopeSaC Project, a fabric thermal cooker that she created to teach retained heat cooking. She has brought the HopeSaC kits to Kenya, and has certified over 100 women in how to use them. Women in our communities get together and share recipes. The HopeSaC allows a woman to save incredible amounts of time during the day, as she no longer has to spend hours cooking over a smokey fire.
Read About Our Workshops
Eselenkai Girls Primary Boarding School in Kenya On our first expedition to Kenya, 100 Humanitarians held a Days for Girls workshop at Eselenkai Girls Primary Boarding School in Kenya. The girls in attendance were girls who had run from Female Genital Mutilation and...