Some people were born under a lucky star and Bahati is one of them. Her journey with Kesho Kenya only began after a misfortune in the office. She came with her mum to request for support and accidentally knocked over a big partition that separates our office area from the resource center. It was at this point when we realized she could not see properly. She was immediately taken to hospital where the doctor stated that she was partially blind. Kesho Kenya paid up her medical bills and that was how she became a beneficiary.
When good luck came knocking …
She was then allocated a sponsor whom they connected beyond the termly letters. Over holidays, the sponsor travels all the way from abroad to Kilifi to visit Bahati and her family. She has supported them in various ways and bought them scholastic materials, bedding and other items. She even bought Bahati a pair of spectacles help her in reading.
Last year, the sponsor sent Kesho Kenya 350 Pounds (Ksh. 45,000) to enable Bahati’s mum start up a business. The saying, give man a fish and feed him for a day; teach a man how to fish and feed him for a lifetime applies to this case since a business would enable Bahati’s mum generate income to look after her family. She therefore joined our business classes where she was individually coached by Ms. Elizabeth. Kesho Kenya offers entrepreneurship classes to community members to help them start small scale businesses that generate income to enable parents financially support families.
Business ideas such as selling groceries, vegetables and fish
“I learnt so much from the entrepreneurship classes like businesses I could venture into such as selling groceries, food stuff and vegetables. The training opened my eyes up as I learnt how to keep my business afloat once it starts.” Says Bahati’s mum with a wide smile. She adds that besides learning how she can diversify her income, she learnt on maintaining high hygiene to keep her customers happy and buying from her.
She started off by selling local fish (papa, kumbu), onions and prepared chapati which she sold out to students in the nearby school. “Ms. Charity and Elizabeth helped me kick off as they bought me a table and an umbrella to put out as a stand so as to display my merchandise.”
How the Corona Virus Pandemic affected her business
“My target customers for chapatis were students in our neighboring school but since they closed and students are at home, I cannot continue preparing as they will not sell out and will register a loss.”
She explains that her business was doing well but since corona virus came to the County, it has been adversely affected. This is because the cost of purchasing items is very high and selling it to her customers at an even higher price is becoming a challenge. So she decided to save up the money which she will use in restocking onions and vegetables after the pandemic.
She is only left with her fish (sardines) selling business which she sells from her house as she has established customer base and they buy from her house. Also, she has a newborn who is only a week old forcing her to stay home and nurse her baby as she recovers from delivering.
Planning to buy a savings kit to support children in education
“As you can see, the house I live in is in a dilapidated state. With the long rains here with us, water sips through the roof into the house. My plan is to save up a good amount of money to enable me to rent out a better house.” She also says that she wants to buy a savings kit so that she can save up as much as possible to enable her to buy stationery and other school materials for her children.
Bahati’s family is also lucky to be among the house holds that benefit from a weekly cash transfer of Ksh. 1,500 to ensure they are able to afford meals and other items during the Covid 19 period.
“I am very grateful to Kesho Kenya for continuously supporting me and my family. I cannot even imagine where I would be had they not come in to support my daughter and family at large four years ago.”