April 22, 2019
Latest News

Thread and needle, the survival tools for Kenyan women

By Edurne Morillo and Lucia Blanco

Nairobi, Apr 10 (efe-epa).- A Kenyan mother-of-five has described how sewing has helped her family survive.

Jerusa Angokho, from eastern Kenya, had to take care of her five children by herself without a profession at the age of almost 40.

She is now one of 30 women in the Mrembo Africa or "Beautiful Woman Africa" project, a workshop that provides employment for Kenyan and refugee women living in the Kangemi slums, west of Nairobi.

Angokho, who is now 52, said she is a "different woman".

"I've learned to speak freely, at first I was afraid to express myself, but now I know I can create, sew and then sell what I produce," she told Efe.

In this suburb of around 100,000 inhabitants, which does not have a sewage system, thousands of women are part of the informal settlement of Kangemi, where more than 80 percent of Kenyans work, allowing them to contribute to the family income with 500 to 700 Kenyan shillings per day (between $5 and $7).

Initiatives like Mrembro Africa were launched to help empower these women.

Kenyan Alice Eshuchi started the project without the support of the government or of any other organization with the sole objective of being able to obtain benefits and provide a living wage for them.

"We started in 2016, when we were really small and we were teaching the women, Kenyan and refugees, from zero. Our main goal was to give them power so that they could empower others," she said.

With more than 25 years of experience in managing social programs and empowering women and girls, as well as other vulnerable groups, Eshuchi decided to start the project by observing women living in the neighborhood, many without access to education and with very few resources.

"Women here are incredibly creative, they always bring new ideas with them, they just need the confidence to achieve their goals, and after spending time with us, they become entrepreneurs," she said.

Women own more than 60 percent of the country's informal enterprises and only 32 percent of the formal ones, according to a 2016 report by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.

Millicent Nakhumicha, 25, dreams of owning her own workshop.

She started working with the organization in 2014, right after graduation, without any specific training or the resources to continue studying.

“I want to focus on my career, I cannot depend on a man, only on myself,” Nakhumicha said.

She added that her designs for bags and backpacks were inspired by the people she sees on the street, on television and in magazines.

The shy-looking young woman has also become a model for Mrembo Africa, and is in charge of making bags, backpacks and other accessories in the workshop, which she admits is “her weakness.”

“My dream is to have a factory where hundreds of women without capital work and to help them pay their rent, food or school for their children,” she said.

The pedals of the old sewing machines, some from the 1950s, and the bobbins of thread do not stop running in this small workshop, where colorful African fabrics are made into all kinds of styles and designs, including fashion, accessories and home decorations.

In 2018, the organization trained 42 women and girls, some already married and with children.

Eshuchi said the task “is not always easy” and there have been some cases of failure among the project’s participants.

Mrembo Africa provides some women with the only food they eat that day, but with the clear objective that they are not dependent and can earn their own livelihoods.

"Any woman can do what we do here, you just need to look at each student and see what she is capable of," Eshuchi said. EFE


News history
Popular Uruguayan hot springs discovered while searching for oil

By Raul Martinez and Sarah Yañez-Richards

International community condemns deadly Easter Sunday blasts in Sri Lanka

Newsdesk, Apr 21 (efe-epa).- Political and religious leaders from different parts of the world on Sunday condemned the series of attacks on churches and...

At least 185 killed in Sri Lanka attack, fresh blast kills 2 more

Colombo, Apr 21 (efe-epa).- The death toll in a series of deadly blasts in three luxury hotels and three churches in Sri Lanka on Sunday has climbed to 185,...

Hundreds attend former Green Party leader's anti-coal mine rally in Australia

Sydney, Australia (efe-epa).- Around a thousand protesters took part in a rally at Parramatta Park in Sydney on Saturday as part of a countrywide campaign...

Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) torchlight procession

By Laura Serrano-Conde

Christians flock to Jerusalem for Good Friday

By Joan Mas Autonell

Mexican muralist chronicles the coming of the conquistadors

Veracruz, Mexico, Apr 19 (epa-efe).- Melchor Peredo Garcia has created six murals to represent the "historical and sociological phenomenon" of the arrival...

Peru's Garcia left suicide note

Lima, Apr 19 (efe-epa).- Peruvian former President Alan Garcia wrote a note before taking his own life to avoid prosecution on corruption charges, his...

Newcomer lands main role in Mexico's grandest Passion Play

Mexico City, Apr 19 (epa-efe).- On this Good Friday, for the first time in 15 years, the role of Jesus in the famed Passion Play in the Mexico City borough...

Israel marks Passover, commemorates exodus from Egypt

Jerusalem, Apr 19 (efe-epa).- Israel's Jewish community is set to mark Passover, the holiday that commemorates the departure of their ancestors from Egypt...

Algiers' young people want job prospects, a better economy

With the resignation of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika earlier in April following weeks of protests against him running for a fifth term, Algeria is...

A city in the Philippines reenacts Passion of Christ with real sweat, blood

By Sara Gómez Armas.

Everest climber Kami Rita returns to break his own world record

By Sangam Prasai.

Long lines once again in Caracas, this time for humanitarian aid

By Barbara Agelvis.

Brazilian inmates' creations to hit runway at Sao Paulo Fashion Week

Sao Paulo, Apr 18 (efe-epa).- A score of male inmates at one of Brazil's maximum-security prisons have been hard at work for months on creations set to...

Pope urges bishops to show compassion when smearing chrism

Vatican City, Apr 18 (efe-epa).- The Pope called on bishops to identify with those of faith within their communities as well as to show compassion with...

Saudi Arabia postpones hearing for women activists

Cairo, Apr 17 (efe-epa).- A Saudi Arabian court has postponed a hearing in the trial of women's rights defenders Wednesday, almost a year after they were...

Migration north of broad-winged hawks makes stopover in Colombia

By Claudia Polanco Yermanos

France launches architectural competition to replace Notre Dame spire

Paris, Apr 17 (efe-epa).-The French government has launched an international architectural competition aimed at rebuilding a spire on Paris’ iconic Notre...

Climate change activists glue themselves to London train

London, Apr 17 (efe-epa).- Climate change activists glued themselves to the top of a train in London on Wednesday in a third day of protests.

Notre Dame pledges exceed $790 million as BNP Paribas, SocGen join donor list

Paris, Apr 17 (efe-epa).- BNP Paribas and Societe Generale have joined the list of companies and business elite who together have pledged more than $790...

Teen climate change activist Greta Thunberg meets Pope Francis

Vatican City, Apr 17 (efe-epa).- Swedish teen climate change activist Greta Thunberg met Pope Francis on Wednesday during the weekly general audience in the...

Migrants crossing southern US border, turning selves in to authorities

Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Apr 16 (efe-epa).- Central American migrant families are saying they made the decision to illegally cross the border into the United...

Red Cross: Electric generators in first humanitarian aid for Venezuela

Caracas, Apr 16 (efe-epa).- The Venezuelan Red Cross on Tuesday announced the entry into the country of the first shipment of humanitarian aid, including...

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.