Women Empowerment: Tot Plus Program in Kenya
TOT PLUS is a program piloted by the Kianda Foundation that is aimed at training women through economics courses and the granting of microcredits for the creation of small businesses. It takes place in Kagondo, Kenya and is funded by the Maite Iglesias Baciana Foundation. Thanks to him, during the year 2020, 33 women managed to fulfill their dream and achieve a better life.
Environment and challenges
The program takes place in Kagondo, a town in Kiambu County, one of the 47 counties in Kenya. Although it is true that Kagondo has the facilities of being located only 13 km from the capital, Nairobi, the reality is that life there is not easy and the inhabitants have to face many challenges of life in the suburbs, including a very high cost of living, high rates of school failure, drug abuse, teenage pregnancy and youth violence.
It should be noted the great impact of high levels of unemployment, mainly among young people. Before the pandemic, it was estimated that 80% of unemployed Kenyans were under the age of 35, now the situation has worsened. Many consequences that affect the lives of young people derive from this problem, such as substance abuse and health problems related to its use, such as depression and also a high percentage of those affected by AIDS. There are many other factors that affect low levels of poverty; It is a territory very pressured by being close to the city, and which has to face high prices in agricultural inputs, not to mention the poor conditions of the road networks, which make it impossible to deliver perishable products, or the inability of small farmers to market your products efficiently without having to submit to intermediaries who take advantage of your situation.
2020 has been a complex year, however, despite the incidence of coronavirus, it was decided to continue with the program, adapting to the special circumstances that arose from the situation.
Thus, during 2020 and thanks to the support of the Maite Iglesias Baciana Foundation, 33 women without previous economic activity were able to access training courses and training for businesses. For them it has meant a fundamental change in their lives.
It is expected that at least 90% will start earning a freelance salary, and that at least 30% of them will have doubled their disposable income by the end of the project.
Since March 2, 2020, face-to-face classes were given at the City Hall, but in May, due to COVID_19, it was successfully switched to remote mode working through WhatsApp. Also as a consequence of the pandemic, the beneficiaries learned new digital skills to apply them to their businesses: money transfers, paying bills, digital commerce, finding business ideas and finding clients online.
The project has promoted the creation of a support group of women leaders, a platform for help, discussion and training made up of TOT PLUS beneficiaries with leadership qualities.
The Maite Iglesias Baciana Foundation has already assured the continuity of the aid for this 2021. Thank you very much, Asante Sana
Promotion of women: Training workshops
Women are the most needy group on the African continent. From a young age they look to the future knowing that what awaits them will not be easy. They must support the family and bring money home. However, the good news is that more and more girls have access to education.
Every year Active Africa funds many scholarships to improve the future of these women. However, others, if not the majority, will not have access to higher education.
For this reason Active Africa supports the creation of workshops that give women opportunities to improve their economy and that of their family as well as grow in self-esteem
This last year we have financed four literacy and sewing workshops: two in Malawi (specifically in Chezi and Kapiri) and others in Kenya, in Tuum and Opiroi.
these projects have been possible thanks to the financing by Comercia Global Payments, Mauel Lao Foundation and Maite Iglesias Baciana Foundation.
Specifically the Kapiri project is carried out in the Mission of the same name in the region Central-West Malawi, under the supervision of Malawian sister Sister Patricia. Currently the project has more than 580 women in its classes
Once they finish, many create their own business. Some have the opportunity to buy a sewing machine at a good price and set up shop as seamstresses in their villages. Others open shops in the local market or start small businesses that will mean a big change for their future.
For this year, Sister Patricia, at the request of the chiefs of the surrounding villages, has asked us to expand the project to 5 new workshops. We are looking for funding and hope to expand it as the results are improving the lives of many Malawian women in many ways.
We thank the donors who make it possible for these actions to go ahead.
Hostel for girls at Nanthomba Secondary School
Nanthomba is a Public School of Secondary Education in the rural area of Dowa, in Malawi. It accommodates 600 students and has a radius of influence that includes 36 villages and 7 elementary schools with an average of 1,300 students per school. It does not have a boarding school and students who live far away must rent their own rooms in homes near the school, which do not meet the minimum standards of safety and hygiene. All this increases the cost of schooling until it is unaffordable.
Girls are the most vulnerable group in terms of dropping out of school. AIDS makes them have to deal with sick parents and grandparents. However, 80% of school dropouts are due to lack of financial means, followed by 11% of early pregnancies and 9% of marriages. Families that can not afford the cost of renting a home near the school risk their daughters´ lives whom travel several kilometers every day on unsafe roads, in which they frequently receive assaults. All this does not help to continue with the studies and closes its doors to a future where to integrate into the world of work. The best solution is to build a boarding school for girls in the school itself. The fee that students must pay is much lower than the cost of renting a home nearby and the school itself organizes surveillance and dining services, allowing the girls to have more time to study and live safer. When knowing this situation, Active Africa looked for a donor to be able to make reality to our first boarding house which in March 2017 we have been able to inaugurate. Thanks to Mango, Nanthomba already has a safe place for 90 Secondary Girls. Zikomo