A Mombasa based disabled women group dubbed ‘Tunaweza Women with Disability (TWD)’ is making strides with a source of income through tailoring and weaving.
Tunaweza, which means “Yes we can” is a community-based organization (CBO) formed in 2000.
The Community Based Organization’s (CBO’s) major objectives are running a business to generate sustainable income and advocating for the rights of women with disabilities in the region.
The group’s Chairperson Charity Chahasi says they have created self-employment opportunities by providing sewing machines to members.
She says the initiative teaches women with disabilities technical skills in beadwork and tailoring and become self-sufficient.
Chahasi says the group first ventured into business with loans received from the Women Enterprise Fund to purchase sewing machines and other sewing equipment.
She says they first received a 50,000 shillings loan from the women empowerment fund with their borrowing now standing at Sh.350, 000.
The CBO Chairperson says the initiative has improved the socio-economic condition of members and in turn the betterment of their entire families.
She says the group seeks to empower women with disabilities with a source of income through tailoring and that they sought help multiple times without success until they came across Women Enterprise Fund.
Chahasi says members now have a pathway to economic empowerment and can now support their families financially.
Rose Miriwa, a member of the organisation says members weave baskets using recycled plastic bags.
She says they also make clothes and bags and a variety of jewelry using recycled campaign posters, old newspapers and magazines and the Maasai beads.
The group members living with disability also sew reusable ecological sanitary pad kits and cotton shopping bags.
She says they supply the reusable sanitary pads to school girls in several counties for improved hygiene, school attendance, participation and self-confidence.
Mombasa county women enterprise fund coordinator Martin Otindo says they provide accessible and affordable credit to support women, start or expand their businesses.
He encouraged women groups in the county to seek loans from the women enterprise kitty to set up income generating activities and fight poverty.
[Rose Miriwa, Tunaweza Women with Disability member. Photo/Ahmed Omar/Dec’ 01, 2022].
The official says they issue women groups with funds ranging from 50, 000 to 750,000 with varying repayment terms ranging from one to two years.
He says they encourage women groups to acquire loans for scaling up their businesses that would boost financial stability and family welfare.