Nkoilale is a small town located in Mara Division of Narok County in Southwest Kenya. The community around Nkoilale is predominantly pastoralist. The Nkoilale Women Beadwork Craft Centre project is supported by KCDF in partnership with Nkoilale Community under the Pamoja4Change grant. Resources for this project were raised from a local corporate organization (Hotpoint Appliances) as part of KCDF’s local fundraising action under Pamoja4Change.
The overall goal for the project aims at empowering marginalized women in Nkoilale community, who have no access to financial services, to explore their beading talent by establishing a curio and a workshop where beadwork products can be sold locally and internationally. It provides the women with an avenue by which they can save, invest and access loans to start small businesses. It also provides a platform through which culturally induced challenges, such as lack of right to own property by women, can be addressed.
This is Noormosironi Lemurt’s Story:
This center could not have come at a better time. I am 40 years of age and this craft center has given me not only an opportunity to earn an income, but also to restore my dignity. Before the center opened, I was just in the village taking care of my family of seven children, and only relied on my husband to support the family financially. This center has given me an opportunity to learn how to perfect my beading skill and now I am selling the beadwork and earning an income, for myself and my family. NCDO has additionally taught us how to save from the sales that we make.
With the little income that I know will keep growing, I am confident I will get to a better place in terms of providing for my family in a sustainable manner. The other advantage is here at the center, we are a group of around 80 women. This means we are able to work as a group and sell our beadwork together to tourists, giving us bargaining power, which is far much better compared to selling by yourself where one can really struggle. However, one lesson that I have learnt over the two months is the need to be patient. Initially, the expectation was that with the opening of the women craft center, things would pick up and take a shorter time in terms of selling and making money from the beadwork. But I have learnt slowly by slowly with any business, one needs lots of patience.
Where do you see yourself in the future?
I see a strong and economically empowered woman who through these diverse skills in beading is able to cater to the needs of my growing family. I truly appreciate the Nkoilale community and friends of the community for coming together once again to support the women towards a positive impact for their future and that of their families.
This is Noolterito Kaleku Story:
My name is Noolterito Kaleku and I am 36 years. My first impression of the NCDO proposal to setup a craft center was seeing a great opportunity for the women in the community like myself to earn a decent income. Previously, I would look for any opportunity or try my hand in any income generating activity to support my family of eight. The situation has since changed, as the craft center has given me an opportunity to earn a decent income providing for my family. I also see a great chance for us women in the center to become strong business women in the beading craft not only here in Nkoilale but the larger Narok county as well as trading internationally.
We sell our beadwork as a group to various tourists in the Mara and we have seen the power of the saying “two heads are better than one” where everyone gets to gain as opposed to selling the wares as individuals. The center which is well equipped has also given me an opportunity to learn new skills on beading I never had.
Additionally, the women within the center as at now will grow and hone their skills and pave way for other women to similarly gain from the center. Our hope is that NCDO continues to bring the community together towards development just as has been the case with other similar projects in the community.