Over 45% of Kenya’s population lives in poverty, and Kenya is home to one of the largest urban slums in the world, located in Kibera. The inhabitants of Kibera live in acute poverty, struggling to meet their daily needs without access to basic social services such as education, healthcare, sanitation, clean water, or electricity. Kenya is also the country suffering the fourth-largest HIV epidemic in the world. Stigma around HIV worsens the social and economic situation for those living with it, especially if they are women.
The SOLUTIONS WE'RE PROPOSING
W4’s field partner, Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO), is dedicated to providing the people of Kibera with the tools and opportunities they need to create safe, hope-filled futures for themselves, their families and the entire community. Through an array of community empowerment programs, SHOFCO works relentlessly to protect the human rights of the slum residents and offer them economic opportunities to pave a path out of poverty.
SHOFCO’s Women’s Empowerment Program provides training in business and practical entrepreneurship skills to women living with HIV in the slums and allows them to earn a living wage by producing and selling unique products such as tablet cases, yoga bags, and beaded jewelry. * The women are trained in financial literacy and specific trade skills, such as tailoring and even the art of making peanut butter or soap! The women also sew Kibera and Mathare School Girls’ uniforms.
While acquiring skills and establishing a sustainable source of revenue, the women also benefit from the program’s social events, helping them to bond with and support each other. After they graduate from the program, the women become eligible for seed capital to start their own businesses through SHOFCO’S Group Savings & Loans Program.
Discover Evelyn's story on her journey to empowerment. She started her own peanut-butter business thanks to SHOFCO's Group Savings & Loans Program.
THE IMPACT OF GIVING
Your donation transforms the lives of women living with HIV by offering them the opportunity to acquire income-generating skills and create a sustainable livelihood. The women also benefit from a strong peer support network – bonding with their fellow program participants — which helps them to build their confidence. Thanks to revenues from the program, the women are able to afford proper health care and fund their own treatments.
The women’s success as entrepreneurs helps them to lift themselves and their families out of poverty and also reduces the stigma experienced by women and girls living with HIV/AIDS. These women become agents of social and economic progress within their communities and role models for other women living with HIV.
*The wonderful women in SHOFCO’s Women’s Empowerment Program have just launched their first online store on Etsy. Find out more here.