Projects in Kenya
Our approach places schooling at the centre of change, but intervenes simultaneously in basic health care, access to food and water and support for income-generating activities, in particular by promoting gender equality and female empowerment.
The new Constitution of the country (2010) seeks to remedy the traditional exclusion of women and promotes full involvement in every aspect of growth and development, in order to root gender equality. In addition, in the context of Kenya's long-term vision of becoming an industrialized middle-income country by 2030, two of the ten key sectors on which the strategy focuses include crafts and vocational training. The leather and goods sector offers an important opportunity for industrialization and diversification of exports, as the strengths of leather processing are the presence of abundant livestock, the availability of labour and the presence of functioning tanneries. The informal sector is constantly growing, as is the number of designers and the middle class is increasing: all elements that encourage the emergence of realities similar to ours.
Despite the fact that the tourism sector has suffered a significant decline in recent years, it is recovering and is also opening up to a younger target than that known in the past.
The specific objective of the project is to launch a women's business initiative, which aims to employ female students who finish their two-year studies at Mama Lorenza's Vocational Centre, offering them the possibility of employment in a safe environment where all their rights as workers and women are respected, while also benefiting from continuous training and quality training.
Dedicated to girls in need with a primary school diploma, for whom there are generally no great local employment opportunities, and with the aim of promoting female empowerment, it aims to make girls self-sufficient, able to choose and confident of themselves, trying to eradicate those cultural aspects that prevail within micro institutions, such as the family, which deny space and the possibility for women to make potential transformative changes. Moreover, by creating jobs, it helps to reduce the poverty rate and the unemployment rate.
- Construction and setting up of a laboratory dedicated to the production of Emèl
- Training and education of Emèl production staff
- Design, production and realization of two high quality handmade Emèl lines, one in cotton and one in leather
- Local sale: in collaboration with the company Rift Africa of Nairobi, on November 1, 2019 a sales point was opened in Diani Beach, inside the Diani Shopping Center.
- Online sales in Europe (under construction)
The international community has reaffirmed the importance of good quality training and education for the improvement of the living conditions of individuals, communities and entire societies. The new Sustainable Development Goal, Objective 4, goes beyond the primary education of children, highlighting in particular the link between basic education and vocational training. It also emphasizes the equity and quality of education in a lifelong learning approach. It aims to ensure that everyone has access to education and training tailored to their needs and the environment in which they live, especially the most vulnerable.
To promote female vocational education for young girls from disadvantaged backgrounds to graduation, working constantly on female empowerment while providing psychological support in a safe and protected environment.
In 2011 the Mama Lorenza's Vocational Centre was inaugurated, designed by the Ticino architects Aurelio Galfetti and Carola Barchi and directed by Jane Mwaka. The centre hosts 64 students every year and has a staff of 12 people, all local.
- Two-year course in tailoring and leather working
- Two-year course in Hairdresser and beauty therapist
All the students also attend courses in computer science, management, life skills, cooking, physical activity and help in the cultivation of the garden, located within the center. Counseling sessions are constantly held with each of them, promoting the acquisition of their own autonomy, dignity and decision-making power.
At the end of the two-year period they take the national NITA exams, obtaining a recognized diploma, necessary to enter the world of work. Most students are offered an internship opportunity. 78% of outgoing girls immediately find a job.
The institute is registered with the Ministry of Youth, as an entity that supports the vocational training of young Kenyans, and with the TVET Authority.
With the aim of making the centre self-sustainable, we have started income-generating activities:
- Coltivazione di frutta e verdura
Both for indoor use and for sale
- Allevamento di polli
Both for indoor use and for sale
- Produzione di pane
Both for indoor use and for sale, thanks to the obtaining of the KEBS (Kenya Bureau of Standars) certificate
- Corsi brevi per la comunità
Short courses in computer science, basic dressmaking and beauty care for women and men in the community during the school holiday months
Small shop where are sold objects made by students of the department of dressmaking and leather
Beauty salon open to the community
- Certified for NITA exams
We are a certified center for hosting young Kenya
We have been active for several years in four rural villages: Jaribuni and Makombeni, in the county of Kilifi and Majoreni and Mwamose, in the county of Kwale.
The four contexts, although varied and each with its own characteristics, have common traits: large and often mono-parent families, still very high illiteracy rates, poor group collaboration and widespread poverty, measured in terms of access to water, food, education, medical care and poor hygiene.
Poverty reduction, education and training, family food support where necessary, health promotion and support to parents in establishing income-generating activities.
- Inclusion of children in schools through distance adoptions
- Food support
- Meetings on family planning, hygiene education, women's empowerment and children's rights
- Home visits
- Start of income-generating activities with parents, which we monitor through monthly or bimonthly meetings
The Waa School is a public school attended by more than 700 children and is located on the suburbs of Mombasa. The disastrous condition of the buildings and the unhealthy conditions in which the children were forced to study and live were noted.
Restructuring the women's section of the Waa primary school. Promote school education and protect, welcome and assist children who are victims of abuse, early marriages or rejected by their families of origin.
Maintenance work: dormitories, laundry, kitchen, latrines, well and pipes that allow the use of running water.
Grouping of about thirty girls thanks to reports from local offices, aged between eleven and sixteen years, victims of abuse and violence, early marriages or marriages rejected by the families of origin and start empowerment activities such as:
- School integration in Waa primary school
- Rehabilitation and psychological support
- Medical assistance
- Organization of extra-school activities and female empowerment
Support to a group of families from Ukunda, who moved to the coast in search of making a fortune with tourism, with the goals of poverty reduction, education and education and health promotion.
- Inclusion in local schools through distance adoptions
- Organization of recreational activities, mainly during school holidays, organized by volunteers
- Quarterly medical check-ups in collaboration with a local doctor
- Meetings with on topics such as disease prevention, family planning, female empowerment
- Volunteer-led literacy courses
- Support for income-generating activities