UNVEILING HER STAR, “ BUILDING SUSTAINABLE ENTERPRISES…..Through Recycling and Waste Management”
The program, emphasized skill development in 8 Trade areas mainly:
7. Furniture making
The mobilization exercise involved inspiring these women to think big, see opportunities in enterprise development and the possibility of recreation through re-purposing of waste and Recycling. 100 women registered and turned up at the training held week of 26th to 30th June 2017.
TWOW trainers and staff launched the program with leaders of the local community, the local administration and members of parliament of the sub-county. The women kicked off the training by first undergoing sessions to understand the value of re-purposing waste and recycling. The opportunities that lay in this program and the realization of their unlimited creativity as far as dreaming big and creating new things from old, used and wasted items. We looked into the barriers that women face in building businesses including negative mindsets, which tend to hamper development at the grass root, finances for capital, product development, marketing, and book keeping and accessing markets. The Timeless women in Kibera were enthusiastic as their awakened minds were presented with a new reality. Excitement mixed with surprise described the mood over the days of training. The practical approach to the training was hands on experience to equip the women to learn practically, build their confidence in preparation, design and production of the various items we developed. It was absolutely fulfilling to see the women’s faces light from day one to the last day – they had seen the possibility of creation that lay in their hands and were all ready to take up the challenge. The faces of self-doubt, views of the impossibility, fear and limitation gave way to bright, courageous, informed and limitless joy.
Member of Parliament KIbra Sub County, Mr. Ken Okoth with the women Ms Nyakan Munyeki , TWOW Founder and CEO.
One of the TWOW Trainers impacting the women with theoretical knowledge
The participants involved in the successful execution of the programs were predominantly Kenyan women in various formal and informal sectors. They were CERTIFIED AT basic areas of trade and were in various assimilation stages to Employment, industry and business. The National government under four of its ministries; Ministry of Gender, ministry of Trade, ministry of housing, and Ministry of labor in conjunction with TWOW foundation and the County governments are working hand-in-hand to ensure Jobs and Tender opportunities are accessible and are assigned to these women. These arms of government are also working closely with TWOW foundation to help enable policy formulation, which is believed will go miles to enable women take-up non-industry jobs and businesses.
The mission of these programs is to harness women's potential and hence contributing to the social and economic transformation of their communities, nation and continent under the second pillar Timeless Empowerment, which promotes Skills Development and Job Creation based on research in the following Future fields (Oil, Gas, Energy, Extractives, Construction, Infrastructure, Technology and Green Industries). The milestones made are cumulative and are ongoing. While this was ongoing we were compelled to identify women that we worked with in Nairobi county in Kibera Slums, Nairobi County, Kibra Sub-county in trade areas 7and 8.
trade areas # 7 and # 8(Furniture making and Recycling /Waste management)
These categories of trade have a large potential for financial inclusion and economic empowerment coupled with opportunities for women to unlock their potential in transforming their lives, bringing dignity to their environment, improve the quality of life, and hence increase their financial stability through enterprise development. The output of products from recycled waste find their way straight to the market and hence these programs provide excellent opportunities for the women to unlock their potential, transform their lives, bring dignity to their environment, improve the quality of life and increase financial stability through enterprise development.
TRAINING RECAP: Held week of 26th -30th June 2017
TWOW TRAINERS partnered with leaders at the local level, the local administration and the sub county government before commencement of the program. The women were first taken through exercises and sessions to make them understand value of re-purposing waste and recycling. It provides immense opportunities that lay in the realization of their unlimited creativity as far as dreaming big and creating new things from old, used and wasted items . We looked critically at barriers women might face in their business building process, including mindsets, finances for capital, production development, book-keeping and accessing markets. Excitement and surprise is the phrase that could possibly describe the period of training. The practical approach to the training was hands on experience to equip the women to learn practically, build their confidence in preparation, design and production of the various items that we developed. It was absolutely fulfilling to see the women’s faces light from day one to the last day – they had seen the potential and creativity that lay in their hands and were all ready to take up the challenge. The faces of self-doubt, views of the impossibilities, fear and limitation gave way to bright, courageous, informed and limitless joy.
The women in attendance were skilled with interests in bead-work and jewellery. They were posed by the TWOW trainers new opportunities to expand their product range and creativity. The trainers presented Recyclable materials such as plastic bottles, rubber, different colored beads, sisal, paper and stones to increase base options of range jewellery products. Most of these material is what we can always find on our rubbish bins. On Presentation was a variety of beads, materials that was showcased during the training that could produce authentic jewellery. These jewellery have monetary value in return and the women adorned themselves and saw opportunities to sell and get income from the products. The levels of creativity is manifest in these final products, a pair of earrings and a basket made from recyclable material for their unique anesthetic look
These earrings were made with beads and pieces of plastic cut from a bottle for
their unique and aesthetic look
At most times wood is used as a source of fuel for cooking and this is common nowhere else than rural Africa. Others use wooden pallets to seal broken fences. TWOW trainers researched, tested and developed a variety of products that women would use to convert their living spaces and thereby generating the income that will potentially turn around their quality of lives and that of their children. During this phase material were assembled to make the final end-product. wait till you see the transformation.
Phase II:The second phase of wood training included training the participants on deploying various recyclable material items with a mix of various tools with greater emphasis on their health and safety standards. It was exiting to see their enthusiasm levels during the course of the journey of training. They made sets of products mainly wood pallets converting them into anesthetic furniture that would fit in any space ranging from homes, outdoors to offices. And they have high demand in the local market as we speak. The theme behind it was to present a keen sense of design and variation to the product's look and feel. The end result is a high-end finish. Below are the outputs of the products
Coffee table / ottoman made from an old Tyre, sisal twine and plywood.
3.Value Added Fashion
One of the challenges women at training cited as barriers is access to capital for doing business that would later enable the purchase of raw materials But the TWOW foundation trainers challenged them to view differently, to see wasted old clothes shoes and garments as and improvised raw materials that could make the desired items to make material that they could sell and make money.
Some of the recyclable materials were shoes garments bags and clothes they had set aside to dispose as waste. In the process the women are taught to increase value to the old written off items.
example of the reclaimed shoes the women created.
Our trainer demonstrating how to add value to plain shirts, shoes, skirts
Reclaimed shoes after Value Addition4. Arte facts and Handicrafts from waste materials
We throw away thousands of bottles-tops, cans, sisal, papers, and used tissue rolls plus many other items. These items were researched and revised by TWOW trainers and was relayed to the women methods they could create high value items that they could sell. The options were unlimited. We even managed to showcase bags that were made out of plastic papers, lampshades from sisal , pencil holders used from tissue rolls, wall hangings from tissue paper-rolls, clock frames. The women were absolutely happy at the creativity of their creations and the products that came out of them. Assorted lamp shade designs made from sisal, wire and spray paint.
This wall clock is made of plastic bottle tops, jar lid and skewer sticks.
This bag is made from plastic bags that are commonly thrown away after use.
Not only does it look beautiful but it is environmentally friendly. Trans-formative idea!
Rocking my creativity!
The training on the ground had immense impact, in-terms of
gained skill in enterprise development and financial management. Our main theme was re-purposing of various waste/recyclable items. There were also
acquired skills to maintain and preserve the environment. Many friendships were
established and ideas exchanged. Practical and technical skills especially in re-purposing waste materials were gained.
Since a majority of women under future uncertainty and unpredictable economic conditions are the most vulnerable to HIV/AIDS, unwanted pregnancy and marriages, they somewhat realized other ways
to raise their economic potential.
The action of these women is a testimony that they themselves
can help create an Improved quality of life and dignified living, productive
and meaningful jobs and businesses.
The women left the training empowered with day-to-day skills, knowledge
and expertise to start generating business and revenues through recycling and re-purposing waste. The women were highly inspired and built high confidence in
themselves believing they can achieve whatever they set out to do. TWOW
identified 20 women who will undergo an 18-month business enterprise incubation
program to hone product development and enterprise skills. We are hopeful that
other stakeholders and partners will join in to support the 18-24-month
scale-up program of these 20 businesses as we drive Africa’s growth into
prosperity through women.
The Next step is to
·Finalize the business plans for the
·Setup the Timeless Incubation &
Innovation Center ( for Development, production, incubation and launch out of
the 4 areas of trade)
·Train and support the women in
production and launch to market of their ideas.