Saturday, November 3, 2012

Women of Shikokho

October 31, 2012

On big thing that is happening in rural subsistence living Africa is the need for money among people who never before needed to generate money. Although they have desire and skills to earn an income, they lack the vision as to how to market what they already have.

It is a heart warming thing to watch what happens when they are presented and given a boost on new ways to earn some money.

Women of Shikokho Village, Kenya
 
  video
Women sing their song
 
With Women's Group Leader, Jennifer, at her Clinic
 

Summary of  My Visit:
In discussions with fifteen members of Women’s Finance Initiative group in the Shikokho, Kenya including group leader, Jennifer, ideas were discussed to find if there were new ways to generate income. Upon assessing their current program, it was determined the women may be able to earn considerably more income by producing handmade baskets in their homes, imprinted with pictures of two unique Kagamega features, bull fighting and a rock formation, called “The Crying Stone”. These products would be sold at local markets and at the bull fights. No such items were currently available.

In addition to selling baskets with imprints of bull fights, and Crying Stone, the local upscale resort of “Rondo Retreat” expressed great interest in buying and selling local handmade items produced by the Women’s Initiative group at their gift shop and as picnic baskets for their guests. They have given permission to use their logo to imprint on the baskets. 

Stencils for bull fights, Crying Stone, and Rondo Retreat are being designed and manufactured by a Kagamega design studio. Three women from the Women’s Initiative will receive training, 6 November, 2012 on how to imprint the designs on the baskets.

Conclusions:
Rural women lack the experience and knowledge on how to market their current talents and skills in unique ways to produce goods and services with higher profit margins. By providing a new paradigm in ways they think about their skills and resources, the women have the organization and desire to elevate their efforts beyond what they thought possible.