Baraka Women's Center: from near failure to resounding success
|អង្គភាព||Baraka Women's Center|
|ត្រូវការថវិការដើម្បី||the various programmes of Baraka Women's Center|
|រយៈពេលនៃសកម្មភាព||Fundraising started right after the training and never stopped|
|ក្រុមម្ចាស់ជំនួយ||Clients buying products|
សង្ខេបBaraka Women’s Center (BWC) was established in 2012 to offer training and support to vulnerable and disadvantaged women living in the slums of Nairobi and its environs. After a low point due to the withdrawal of donors, BWC found its way up through a training in local fundraising from Change the Game Academy. Baraka Women's Center is offering a range of vocational skills trainings and sells the products that trainees make during their training to sustain the Center. BWC moreover partnered with the right stakeholders, who helped them with invitations for exhibitions and advice on the registration of a business.
1. Do not be discouraged by misfortune. Look at us. We are better now than ever before and we can tell you why: it is all about determination.
2. There were times when we were so stranded because of lack of donor funds that we thought we had to quit. That is when we came across the idea of mobilising local support and decided to learn the basics of local fundraising. If you are going to put that knowledge into practice, I can give you one advice: just believe in yourself, and in whatever you are doing. Do not sit back and wait for a donor, let them approach you because they want to be associated with you and your success.
ត្រួតពិនិត្យដោយមូលនិធិ Wilde Ganzen
Baraka Women's Center is a real success story. Left without funding, the leadership of BWC had to sit down and figure out an alternative. During a local fundraising training it ocurred to them that the goal they wanted to achieve - training women in vocational skills - could be the answer. If they could sell the products that were produced during the trainings, they could sustain the Center. Choosing the right partners was next. Additional skills such as pitching and networking helped to secure their support. The occasional grant they manage to obtain is used for investments.
Baraka Women’s Center (BWC) was established in 2012, with the aim to create a safe, welcoming place that provides vital training and support for vulnerable and disadvantaged women living in the slums of Nairobi and its environs. Since its inception the Center has made extraordinary progress assisting women throughout Nairobi. A couple of years ago, however, donors withdrew their support and the Center had to close as there were no funds left. That is when the Center manager met someone from Kenya Community Development Foundation (KCDF), Change the Game Academy partner for Kenya. When KCDF advertised their next local fundraising training, the Center manager felt she had to go. She struggled a lot to pay the money from her own pocket. But she recalls: “Since that time, my minds were opened, I also changed my mindset, I saw a lot of potential locally, and I put all the board members together. I told them that we must do the unnecessary. They thought that it was a joke to work without donor funds, but later celebrated with me when I was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Human Letters. Our donors left us in 2015, but when they saw the energy and the success, they came back in November 2019. They have been supporting administration, just office expenses and some small logistics, but much of the management is done by local funds."
Achievements so far:
• 30.000 face masks produced for COVID-19 prevention;
• 5 members employed by the Center in administration and teaching;
• 121 women completed two series of Entrepreneur and Transformational Leadership (E&L) Training; 61 of them (an amazing 50%) now have successful businesses;
• 13 Women’s Table Banking Groups with 304 members organised to access seed capital for their businesses;
• 10 women trained as Adult Education teachers;
• 36 members completed the Functional Literacy Program;
• 40 registered and 26 completed a Computer Training Course and were certified;
• Over 120 women and men engaged in awareness and planning workshops to address widespread sexual and domestic violence in the community;
• 80+ women trained in weekly workshops to reduce stress and depression;
• 24 members trained in HIV/AIDS awareness workshops;
• Community screenings for HIV/AIDS and TB provided by MSF and the Ministry of Health;
• BWC members displayed and sold products at four exhibitions sponsored by NGAAF (National Government Affirmative Action Fund);
• BWC graduates 45 trainees from a 5-month Hair and Beauty Skills Training in partnership with NITA (National Industrial Training Authority).
ការពណ៌នាខ្លីអំពីគម្រោង ឬកម្មវិធី ដែលត្រូវបានរៃអង្គាសថវិកាជូន
The Center offers a wide range of programmes that include:
• Alcoholic rehabilitation
• TVET accredited vocational training
• table banking
• business management and entrepreneurship
• computer training
• adult education
• hair dressing and beauty therapy
• COVID-19 prevention
This example describes how BWC manages to raise funds for all of these programmes.
Teresia Waikuru, the Center manager, tells: "What I learned through Change the Game Academy and helped me a lot was
[iii] Partnership with (big) companies
[iv] Taking the jobless young mothers and youth as business opportunity, by training them vocational skills for free, selling the products made by the trainees and using the money to sustain the Center.
Through partnership, we registered the organisation as a member of Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI). We paid the membership fee of Ksh 17,000 after selling our products, then the KNCCI sponsored us with a trip to India to sell our products. We were able to raise Ksh 200,000 and learned a lot.
We also partnered with National Industrial Training Authority in 2018. They sent us girls to train in hairdressing and beauty and paid Ksh 6,000 per student. We managed to train 5 students and the money was used to to sustain the Hairdressing and Beauty class.
In 2020, KNCCI advised us to register a company so that we could be given a tender for reusable masks. We registered Baraka Mtindo Fashion Accessories as a business. Our mask was recommended and we have been given three tenders since.
We partnered with MSEA, Micro and Small Enterprise Authority, and have been getting space in Government exhibitions and Trade fairs in East Africa to sell our products.
In July 2021, we opened a Drugs and Substance Abuse rehabilitation center in Kiambu (Baraka Therapeutic home). The recovering addicts that are in the rehab pay Ksh 40,000 per month to support the organisation and also patients who cannot afford the fee themselves.
I used my pitching skills to pitch to two different people and they bought the organisation two heavy commercial sewing machines for training.
Right now, we have been awarded Ksh 329,000 to buy textile equipment, hairdressing and beauty equipment and computers by US Ambassador’s Special Self Help Fund in Kenya. We contributed 25%, they matched 75%. We have been selling our products at exhibitions and are able to buy materials, pay salaries and office expenses."