Model community crafting success in Narok County
The Nkoilale Community Development Organization (NDCO) officially launched the Women’s Craft Centre and the Livestock Service Centre in Siana Ward on 7 December 2018. The women that will benefit from this centre include those who have received business support grants from the Kenya Programme of Action Africa Help International (AAHI), between January 2016 and May 2018. A total of 58 women have received:
- Training in entrepreneurship and business management in order to improve financial security
- Business support grants to expand their enterprises
- A skiving machine and an industrial sewing machine for better efficiency in leatherwork production
- Training and exposure visits on beadwork value chains
Most of the members of Nkoilale Women’s Craft Centre were part of a ‘merry-go-round’ in which they support each other. The group now has 65 members who have been together since 2013. “The cultural expectation among the Maasai community is that we cannot sell off household-owned livestock to raise capital for business that would contribute to household income. We came together to think of ways to address this and agreed that our best bet is beadwork. Beadwork is a skill that most of us learnt from an early age,” says Nkoilale Women’s Craft Centre Chairperson Edith Noosianai. “We are beginning to make profit out of the beadwork which has encouraged members to stay the course.”
“In 2017 AAH-I donated an industrial sewing machine and a skiving machine to the women, but they did not have a central place to locate where members could easily access the machines. Having these machines in this new centre from today will help to improve the productivity, because the women do not have to walk long distances looking for the appropriate equipment for leatherwork,” says AAH Kenya Country Programme Manager Dr Githaiga Kamau who attended the launch function.
The Livestock service Centre was also officially launched on this day.
“AAH-I was the one who first opened our minds to see the huge benefit of setting up a cooperative. We registered NCDO in January 2016 and we now have 110 members. With the support of various development partners and the private sector, we started putting up this animal service centre towards the end of 2017. The centre has a crush, spray race, weighing scale, offloading/loading site, cooperative office and a store. We will generate income from cooperative and non-cooperative members who will pay to use the facility,” says NCDO Chief Executive Nelson Kirrokor. “I am delighted that the community is being uplifted, one step at a time.”
AAH Kenya partnered with the Cooperatives Ministry of Narok County government who provided training in cooperatives management, alternative livelihoods, improved animal production and management and pests and vector control to NCDO members. Both initiatives to support the community are part of AAH Kenya’s Mara Community Livelihood Improvement Project (MCLIP) in the Mara Division of Narok County, whose objective is to improve the standard of living of communities in Narok West sub-county. MCLIP is funded by Bread for the World.