“Sewing” Seeds and Cultivating Skills for Success in Kenya

“Sewing” Seeds and Cultivating Skills for Success in Kenya

Location:
Kakamega, Kenya
GESI Team:
Erika Carter, Hannah Whitehouse, Jessica Saffold
Partner:
Foundation for Sustainable Development
Development Sectors:
Education / Youth; Social Entrepreneurship; Income Generation; Women's Empowerment
Apply to the Program  
Summer 2016

Project Background

Mahiakalo Child Development Centre provides low-income children and young adults aged 3-22 years in Kakamega, Kenya, with the support they need to reach their full potential and eventually give back to their own communities. The goal of the MCDC is to provide students with the platform they need to apply these skills in a way that they can gain practical, real-world experience in their field of interest and potentially pursue it as a career.

After assessing the assets already available at MCDC, attention was directed at the sewing skills class held on Saturdays in which six sewing machines were utilized, but only on Saturdays. While many alums of the program do attend university, trade school or begin work, a number of them do not. These individuals, especially women, are still left susceptible to a life of poverty with limited opportunities for mobility. Together with the local partner organization, the GESI team worked to implement a vocational sewing skills class for women who have graduated from MCDC but are not currently enrolled in school or employed. The class is planned to be held for six months at which point the women will be proficient enough to earn a Grade 3 tailoring certification. Also at this time, the women will be able to create uniforms marketed to three local schools to generate a profit for themselves. Additional funds from these sales will go back to the program to purchase materials for future production.