“When you empower a woman, you empower a nation.”
Consolata Malowa, who is the founder of the Cozack Self Help group, is a true testament to this statement. The initiative teaches women with disabilities technical skills in beadwork and tailoring. When the foundation started they had only one sewing machine and one overlock machine. As fate would have it, Consolata then heard about the Ndoto Zetu initiative through one of her administrators. She was sceptical to apply after receiving many rejection letters from other firms. Despite this, she still went ahead and did it. After applying and waiting hopefully, she received the good news.
Safaricom’s Ndoto Zetu initiative funded them with 100,000 Kenya shillings to purchase more resources, including a sewing machine and other sewing equipment. Through this, they became a step closer to facilitating and improving the socio-economic condition of women and in turn, the betterment of the entire family. Consolata helps these women achieve financial independence gained through entrepreneurship development and while doing so, she helps these young women gain confidence. The Cozack Self Help group has since helped to transform the lives of over 200 young girls in Busia County.
Then we have the Bahati Diti Disabled Group in Kilifi county, which has also benefitted largely from Ndoto Zetu. The group was started in 2017 to empower women with disabilities with a source of income through tailoring. They sought help multiple times without success until they came across Ndoto Zetu.
Ndoto Zetu program sent over four sewing machines, one centre table, and a thousand sewing needles. This was a dream come true for them. Mary Tabu, a beneficiary of the project, says that thanks to Safaricom, they now have a pathway to economic empowerment since they didn’t have jobs before but now they do. They can now support their families financially.
For years, Kodero Womens’ Group in Kayole desperately wanted to curb issues of unemployment for women in the community. The group consists of women from the Soweto slum who are either widows or single mothers and also support those with various health complications.
Joyce Bilha, Chairperson of the Kodero Women’s Group, proposed a project that would fulfil the women’s dream of starting a tailoring school. She applied to Ndoto Zetu and managed to acquire sewing machines for the group. This has since helped them to set up a tailoring school that will go a long way in solving issues of unemployment and lack of opportunities for the Women of Kodera. The group aims at helping the women become self-employed and make a living for themselves.
The story of the Kamkomani Self-help group is one of resilience. Fifteen women from Kilifi who didn’t have a regular wage, came together to start an income-generating project. Thanks to Ndoto Zetu, they succeeded. Their aim was to achieve financial independence to put food on the table, pay for their kids’ school fees and live a comfortable life.
The Ndoto Zetu initiative donated sewing machines to the self-help group, which has been of great help to them. Mary Nyae, a member of the Kamkomani Self help group, says that they are eternally grateful to Safaricom for taking them a step closer to their dreams. Each member got a sewing machine and plans to focus on tailoring and selling their products. They now have more opportunities for economic growth.
She believed she could sew so she did! It’s time we realize that empowering women empowers an entire nation. Women are able to uplift their families, and on the grand scale of things villages, towns, cities, and countries can grow economically. That is the importance of going against all odds to ensure that women are able to make a stable living out of their lives.
Safaricom’s Ndoto Zetu continues to be a large step towards the fulfilment of this vision. From Kilifi to Nyanza to Western Kenya to Kayole, the Ndoto Zetu program helps hundreds of women to realize their life’s vision. We can only hope that in the years to come more and more women will realize their dreams through Ndoto Zetu. Hopefully, one day we will wake up and see that Ndoto Zetu has helped us reach a milestone in female empowerment in Kenya.
If you wish to participate in Ndoto Zetu kindly send a written submission through Safaricom Foundation’s Ndoto Zetu website or visit any Safaricom Retail Shop and fill in an application form for a chance to have their community dream realized. Successful participants will be contacted by the Safaricom Foundation through 0722 000 000.