Many women in Kenya face limited opportunities for education, decision-making and a means to support themselves and their families. Islamic Relief ran a project in Wajir County to help women create new livelihoods and become self-reliant.
The project, supported by ForumCiv, brought women together in groups and provided them with the training and equipment needed to cultivate new livelihoods.
102 women received training around sustainable agriculture including poultry production systems, water efficient technologies, honey harvesting and integrated pest management. The groups are now able to produce more than they can consume, leaving them produce to sell for profit.
7 women’s groups also received entrepreneurship training and equipment to revive their businesses which were impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Some groups received refrigerators so that they could preserve and sell the meat and milk they produce.
Halima is part of a women’s group that operates a restaurant, camel meat and milk supply business.
Established 10 years ago, the business has struggled with the preservation of perishable goods such as milk. Previously, they would boil the milk and meat but are now using the refrigerator to keep things fresh.
We received 5 cooking pots, 2 refrigerators, 5 jugs and 2 tables from Islamic Relief. We now stock as per market demand because we have preservation equipment, avoiding losses,” said Halima.
“We are also grateful for the entrepreneurship training that improved our knowledge of record keeping and business management. We have saved Kshs 145,000 ($1,450) from our restaurant. Our profits go towards expanding the business and member welfare.”
Another group received a hand-mill machine and concrete mixer, tripling their production of clay stoves. 3 other groups received sewing machines to start their own tailoring businesses.
23-year-old Maimuna is a member of the Halale Women Group in Wajir County. She recently expanded her business after her group received 2 sewing machines from Islamic Relief.
“We formed the women’s group for motivation and business advice. This is the first time we have received assets. I trained in tailoring, but I didn’t have enough money to buy a sewing machine. I have now expanded my business using the skills gained from our business management training. I can supplement the income of my family. I earn at least Kshs 5,000 ($50) per month from tailoring,” says Maimuna.
Through the project, Islamic Relief Kenya has also helped strengthen the capacity of local civil society organisations, human rights defenders and child protection volunteers to champion the rights of the vulnerable communities in Wajir.
Through financing support and gender-inclusive programmes, Islamic Relief is committed to ensuring women develop sustainable livelihoods for the social and economic development of communities.