This is a solution much needed for the teenage mothers Wa-Wa Kenya works for. Trainees will be recruited from marginalized rural areas in Homa Bay County. Many of these girls and young women who grow up here don’t complete formal school due to social-cultural-economic issues and live below $1.90 dollars per day. In addition, around Lake Victoria there are limited job opportunities. And poverty forces many women to engage in transactional sex for fish, to secure a share of the daily catch. The region has a HIV prevalence of 26% (around 5 times higher than the national prevalence). This has resulted in too many deaths form AIDs-related diseases, orphaned children and child-headed families.
Wa-Wa’s approach ensures sustainability and has already supported 375 young women in successful soap-making, fashion design and fish-farming businesses. One of the successes of the approach is the mentoring up to one year.
10 women are equipped with both soft and technical skills of running a Beauty Parlour. Immediately after the 3-months training, the women will start earning an income. In addition, 50 family members of the 10 new businesswomen benefit from the increased income. An income good enough to cater for their basic needs, and that of their children – like healthy food, health care and school fees – and their families.
After a year they may decide to start their own business. It is expected that 8 out of ten women will manage to earn at least Ksh400 (or €3.10) per day, which lifts them out of extreme poverty.
Longer-term, we see from experience that around 10 women will get employment through the new entrepreneurs.
Ultimately, women will be able to protect their children from engaging in social vices like transactional sex for fish when they grow up. Overall, contributing to less poverty and more jobs contribute to end transactional sex and thus to reduce HIV incidences.
The budget for the following activities is Ksh 1,051,612 (or €8,118). The donations will be used to:
Costs thus include trainers’ fees, training equipment, meals for the beneficiaries during training and certification and for Monitoring & Evaluation efforts.
WaWa’s own contribution is the full time staff to the project.