Empowering girls and women has been a key initiative for Global Partners since its conception nearly 45 years ago. Our Grassroots Community-Led Development (GCLD) Fund was launched to directly support grassroots organizations in East Africa, including women-led businesses who are implementing sustainable, impactful, and innovative solutions to improve the livelihoods of women, their families, and their communities. Recently, we’ve had the pleasure of partnering with and supporting three amazing women’s groups in Kenya with exciting business ventures that boost their financial independence and overall life outcomes.
Our latest partner in this endeavor is Kadana Foundation. Through human-centered design, a blend of indigenous knowledge and global expertise, Kadana Foundation works towards ensuring evidence-backed community growth and most importantly, community-led intervention design. They envision smart, sustainable, and economically efficient communities capable of unlocking local social capital and leveraging that to attract global investment towards sustainable economic growth. Together with Kadana Foundation, GPFD has identified three women’s groups in Kenya as the latest beneficiaries of the GCLD Fund driving change in their local communities. Let’s meet these women entrepreneurs.
Achae Rach Women Group
This vibrant community in Got Koyembe village, Siaya County, officially formed its self-help group in 2016 with 15 dedicated members, including 14 women and one man. Proficient in crafting traditional clay products such as cooking pots, water pots, décor vases, and woven baskets, their artistic endeavors faced challenges with the modern shift to iron sheet housing. Traditional grass, essential for firing their pots, became scarce with the decline of thatched roof structures. With their recent GLCD grant, the group envisions acquiring a ceramic kiln to revolutionize their production process, ensuring the preservation of their time-honored craft in the face of evolving architectural trends.
Bi Kendi Women Group
In the heart of Got Koyembe Village, the Bi Kendi Group, comprised of 16 members (13 women and 3 men), emerged as a response to the alarming rates of malnourished children under five. Many women, dedicating long hours at the dispensary, recognized the need for nutrient-rich vegetables and embarked on cultivating indigenous varieties. Going beyond, they became educators, sharing knowledge on cultivation, preservation, and preparation of these greens. Recently, their mission expanded to include improved poultry farming, a strategic move not only to enhance nutrition but also to generate income. Their journey is a testament to the transformative power of community-driven initiatives.
Seje Friends and Progress Women Group
Nestled in Bungu Village, Bar Olengo, Siaya County, Seje Friends and Progress, formed in 2014, is a tight-knit group of 18 members (12 women and 6 men) passionate about dairy farming. As custodians of bovine well-being, they face a pressing challenge—access to water for their livestock. The arduous task of fetching water impedes effective dairy management, diverting resources and time from other household needs. With unwavering determination, Seje Friends envisions a future where water tanks and guttering provide a sustainable solution, not only ensuring reliable water sources but also fostering increased manure production. Their commitment to progress is exemplified by their resilience in overcoming the obstacles that hinder their pursuit of agricultural excellence.
Read more about GPFD’s Grassroots Community-Led Development Fund here!