By Ndungu Gachane
Centre for Women Empowerment in Technology (CWE-TECH) has been supporting women in Kabondo Kasipul on socio-economic empowerment since 2017. Currently CWE-TECH is working with Kakumu Widows Group and Ramula Support Group of Kabondo Kasipul.
The founders of CWE-TECH, Dr. Judy Makira and Eunice Owino explain that women economic empowerment is critical to achieving gender equality and sustainable development. Women are key contributors to economies as producers of food, managers of natural resources and as entrepreneurs. On these bases, CWE-TECH decided to mobilize women, guide and support them on how best to mobilize resources and enhance their economic growth in sustainable ways.
The women groups have been undertaking several income generating projects like: Plastic chairs and tents hiring, sweet potatoes farming and selling, ground nuts milling and selling, “five goats per home” and “A tank for clean water per home.” In December 2019 CWE-TECH launched over 300 goats for Kakumu Widows group in an event dubbed “Five Goats per home”. The goats’ project had begun when CWE-TECH carried a funds drive to kick start this project for the widows. They bought 16 goats; they placed a rule that each first born of the goats had to be returned to the group for handing over to the members who haven’t received. Today they pride of over 500 goats in total.
Women on mobile banking
The women are also involved in table banking where each saves Kshs.20 per week. The individual savings increase their borrowing power which enables them to take loans to cater for their emergency needs like school fees and medical services.
In her brief report, the secretary noted that three office bearers of Widows Group travel monthly for 25 kilometres to manually bank the cash, spending a total of Kshs 1,500; equivalent to two-weeks saving for all the women. These services can be accessed through mobile banking at negligible cost. Thus CWE-TECH has now been able to train these two women group leadership on mobile banking and basic internet skills. Now at the click of the button they are able to send their savings in their bank account through mobile banking.
Womens support during COVID-19 Pandemic
During the COVID- 19 pandemic, CWE-TECH has been supporting and mentoring Kakumu widows of Kabondo Kasipul, Homabay County. In partnership with Ahadi Kenya Trust, the women were supported with nutritious porridge flour, masks, lesos, and cash among other items during this difficult time of COVID-19 Pandemic.
Extending to other Counties
So far , the concept of pooling resources for self help is working very well in Kabondo Kasipul. CWE-TECH is now planning to roll out the same projects in other Counties starting with Muranga. CWE-TECH is also open to partnerships with other organizations, institutions and entities to roll out these Women Empowerment programmes to other Counties.
“ We are appealing for partners to join hands with CWE-TECH as we extend the projects to Murang’a” Says Dr. Judy Makira who is also a lecturer at the University of Embu and the Vice-Chair, Murang’a Municipal Board.