Supporting vulnerable mothers to provide a better future for their families through skills trainings
International Peace Initiatives (IPI) helps vulnerable mothers, especially those suffering from the effects of HIV/AIDS, to provide a better future for their families by training them in new skills so that they can earn an income, slowly regain their strength, and be better able to care for their children. Most of the women we support would not usually be able to access these courses because they are often too expensive or located too far away.
What is the problem?
In Kenya, one in five girls between 15 and 19 are mothers. They tend to be from families who struggle with poverty, disease and they are at risk of contracting HIV/AIDS. In Meru alone, 21% of the population have no formal education. We have seen that when girls become mothers, the vast majority drop out of school. They can face rejection from the father of their child, their families and community. Many become homeless, with no chance of securing a decent job they are forced into commercial sex work to survive and provide for their children.
Kellen is a mother of one child and was working as a commercial sex worker. In 2016 she was offered a place on a Ecologia funded, hairdressing diploma. The course, run by International Peace Initiatives, gives women and girls in Meru County free access to skills training so that they can provide for themselves, their families and change their lives by having a secure and stable income.
Kellen excelled on the year-long course, she learned quickly and her work was of a really high quality. She was employed by a salon as soon as the course was finished and in less than a year she was able to start her own business at home. Now, 2 years on, her business is growing. She provides for her family and her daughter is enrolled at a local school. She is an incredible example of how gaining skills make a huge difference to the lives of whole families and future generations.
Already, since December 2012, Ecologia has raised over £50,000 to support IPI to develop skills trainings for women.
In 2015, 30 local women successfully completed the second of two years of skills trainings in tailoring, and 235 women completed a year of detergent and jewellery-making, tie-dye and weaving.
As well as this, Ecologia has funded skills trainings for women in knitting, catering and tie-dye as well as in cosmetic and cleaning agents, food making and processing, business support training and marketing and packaging. Currently 33 vulnerable young women are taking part in a year-long hairdressing and beauty training that will help them to support and care for their children – and as one young woman said: “Now I am Someone in my community!”
Ecologia is proud to sell some of the beautiful jewellery made by the women, in our online shop.