Initially, the idea was to invest in more goats. But at the suggestion of the local government, the first three chicken farms are now a fact. Plans for new farms, in e.g. Marsabit, are now under development.
Chickens are a cheap source of protein with meat and eggs. However, due to food and water problems, the population has become far too small. Six girls together, accompanied by a parent group and a poultry specialist, set up the first chicken farm in Merti. In this way they can build an independent existence and meet a clear need of the community. The second and third farms are in Isiolo and Gafarsa – under the supervision of Rukia Ibrahim, the poultry group teamlead of Gafarsa.
The availability of electricity is a problem; solar-powered lighting is a solution. That is why six girls will be trained, starting by the end of 2021, as entrepreneurs in solar lighting, by specialists of The Signify Foundation in Kenya and the Netherlands.
The girls will open their own shop where you can get lamps, charge them and have them repaired. What an incredible difference light makes in your home. You will never have to study in the bad light of that unhealthy paraffin burner again. And outside, you can organize all sorts of things until late at night. See also: www.signify.com/global .
Three groups of five girls each will be trained as beekeepers. The girls start their businesses in the autumn in Merti, Isiolo and Muchuro, each with about 15 hives.
There will also be a bee house. This will provide the hives with shelter in bad weather and protection against wild animals. The girls will receive training, also in business administration, and support from the local government and from Hadija Huka, senior chief of Muchuro. When the first honey can be harvested depends on the amount of pollen available. It’s buzzing around that it could be ready in a few months after the start. Half of the first income will be used to invest in extra hives.
Sewing boutique medical clothing
Every year in Isiolo County, about 400 students enroll in medical training.
They buy their medical uniforms in far away Nairobi. Five girls, three of whom are accomplished seamstresses, will open a sewing workshop in Isiolo to provide these students and health workers in the region with medical clothing. The boutique will be based in Isiolo and the plan is to open outlets in Merti, Kinna and Garbatulla sub county by 2023. We set up this project in cooperation with pop-up sewing workshop ‘De Dames van de Zijden Draad.’ Have a look: https://www.facebook.com/Dames-van-de-zijden-draad-pop-up-naaiatelier-618477534923753/
Veggies at home
Growing vegetables is a major problem in northeastern Kenya.
Where a few hundred kilometers to the west and south agriculture and floriculture flourish (our roses come from this region) in northeastern Kenya heat, drought and sometimes pest plagues prevail. That’s why we encourage people to grow vegetables near the house using simple, very affordable technology. An important, healthy addition to the meals that a number of families can’t even count on every day. A group of girls is currently investigating whether they can put this into practice.
Water, vegetables, fruits and trees
Thirty farming families at work
Plowing by hand, drought messes up harvests, no money to buy a few trees for some shade. It’s all about to change. We support about 30 farmer families along the Ewaso Ngiro River near Merti as well as the local Isiolo Conservationists Trust (ICT), which is committed to nature and biodiversity. With the purchase of a mobile water pump, hundreds of shade and fruit trees, vegetable seeds and simple materials for working the land, we want to help the local community on the road to higher yields, better income and more independence. At the same time, together with ICT, we want to contribute to the fight against the negative effects of climate change. Six women are pulling this, as they say themselves, life-changing project.
High school project
20 years ago, in 2000, the MOV was able to get the first four Borana girls in Kenya to go to school. That number has risen to about 350, of which 50 have had a higher vocational or university education. We have broadened our focus to income and independence for women. Yet, the basis for change lies in education. That is why we continue to support girls.
MOV helped to set up partner organization I-Get. See: https://isiologirlchildedutrust.org/. Together with I-Get and other organizations, we work on educational opportunities for young girls. The schools involved are paid directly three times a year, without the intervention of other organizations. Controls on spending and study results is done locally in collaboration with I-Get, the parents, village elders and local educational organizations. The educational project supervisor of the MOV foundation has a monitoring function.
A high school education requires an investment of € 2000 per girl. This includes the boarding school because the girls come from rural areas.
Five women open a Mpesa shop for mobile payments
Five women open a Mpesa shop for mobile payments
Five young women opened an Mpesa shop: popular shops in Kenya where people go for mobile payments based on SMS. The country has thousands of those shops, where household appliances and electronics are often sold as well. The five girls have organized themselves in an entrepreneurial group and opened their first store in Isiolo. Much of the profit will be reinvested. The plan is to open, in 2023, new stores in Merti and after that in Garba-Tula. More about Mpesa: www.safaricom.co.ke
‘Building’ employment for thirty women and their families
For years, women and mothers hammered pieces of rock from the Merti Plateau by hand into gravel-like material, used to build roads and build houses. Very hard work against meager earnings, and that is about to change. With a “crusher” a few tons of stone can be crushed per day and the first customers have already registered. In total, some thirty women will earn a salary to support their families. Part of the proceeds will be used to reinvest in employment for women later on.
More awareness about the position of women is needed.
In Isiolo County we have been providing education to young girls for years, especially since they have fewer opportunities than boys, and with this project we are putting in some extra effort. Amina Issack, our education officer, is going to work with 2 primary and 2 secondary schools (all mixed). She is going to develop a curriculum with teachers and principals for a project of about 6 weeks. There will be a workbook for the students and a guidance book for the teachers. Parents and the broader community will also be involved. Upon completion, the materials will be offered to other schools. The project will run for a maximum of one year.