36 residents of Nyalenda and Obunga slums got a boost in their income generating activities on Thursday 30th when KMET in partnership with CONCERN worldwide, an international NGO offered them business start-up kits. Completing
The population, majority being the youth received equipment for businesses such as tailoring, hairdressing, beauty therapy, catering, computer and information technology solutions, electrical engineering among others-each according to their areas of training and expertise.
Charles Odhiambo, CONCERN’s Kisumu urban livelihoods and social protection programs manager said that the beneficiaries of the project were identified through community conversation (CC) groups as vulnerable members of the community and were enrolled to various vocational training colleges in Kisumu.
“These are our brothers and sisters who in one way or another are deprived of basic education, healthcare access, and proper means of income, but were willing to learn and acquire business skills,” explained Mr. Odhiambo.
CC groups are a KMET initiated intervention that aims at providing communities with platforms to identify problems and own them. This is implemented through KMET’s urban livelihoods Programme.
Sam Owoko, KMET’s program coordinator says that this way the community interrogate existing developmental gaps, design community based solutions and implement them.
KMET trains community conversation facilitators that guide these meetings and help with group dynamics. The facilitators also work closely with community health workers to help address issues of health such as HIV/AIDS stigma and family planning.
In addition, KMET works to provide the communities with linkages to partners who are willing to help solve some of their societal issues.
Peter Muga, KMET, SACCO society manager says that community conversation groups provide a good opportunity to help empower societies’ economically and socially and as such CONCERN worldwide and KMET moved in to provide soft loans to members of the CC groups that were already running income-generating activities to boost their businesses.
The issuance of start-up kits for such demographics is the third of its kind to be offered by the two organizations, the first group of beneficiaries were from Nyalenda and were awarded in May 2012 while the second group were from Kasagam and got similar kits in August 2012.