Women’s empowerment in rural Kenya


Agnes (on L) talking with Phillpine (on R)

I was very impressed with the work that Phillipine Kidulah is doing through JITOKEZE, www.jitokeze.org, in the Kapenguria area of Kenya. Jitokeze, a partner with Covenant World Relief, is a grassroots community-based organization that seeks to improve food security in the semi-arid regions of Kenya by empowering marginalized women who have been adversely affected by droughts and conflicts induced by climate change to access, own, and sustainably manage productive assets and participate in the peace building process in their communities.   In Kapenguria itself, she started a sewing class for women. Starting from knowing nothing about sewing the women have moved to be able to sew simple school uniforms. They are continuing to perfect what they can do while they also learn new skills. Phillipine proposed to several local schools that they “contract”, essentially agree, that this group of women be the supplier of their school uniforms for the school year starting in January. One school has agreed. Now the sewing teacher’s job is to work with the women such that their finished product is acceptable. From what I see them doing now they’ll make it.

first time to make dresses

Out from Kapenguria down the west side of the Great Rift Valley you descend to the Chepuraria area where Phillipine and Jitokeze is working with self help groups for women. Last week we met with several of these groups in two locations. In both cases the women are proud of what they have accomplished so far. A Self Help Group consists of a small group of 16-20 people who meet regularly and are slowly saving to buy chicks which they will raise.  As I understand the culture of the Pokot people, the women own and get the benefit from things they raise in the house or compound.  Thus all profits from raising chickens will be for the women.  We received a wonderful welcome from the women.  Beautiful.

waiting for the meeting to begin

Cindy & Simon Kamau dancing with the women













We visited Phillipine and Jitokeze at the request of CWR Director Dave Husby.  He was in country to visit this project and the CWR projects with the Evangelical Covenant Church of Kenya and invited us to accompany him.  It was good to see a part of Kenya we had not been to before and this wonderful initiative.



Enjoy this video of  Cindy dancing before receiving a necklace.  https://vimeo.com/49973602


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