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Meet 24 year old Celestine, a beneficiary of the Wasichana Wetu Wafaulu IGA Start-up KIT. Here is how the IGA kit has impacted her life;

Her business has been booming since its inception in November .She sold out the materials she had and restocked ‘I have very many customers and my mentor advised me to bring lesos and sell to them so as to get additional income since they sell very quickly’’. ”The stock you see I brought in last week and now only few pieces are remaining.”

Difficulties to make ends meet

Before becoming a beneficiary of the IGA Start-up KIT, Celestine’s life looked very different. She is the lastborn in a family of 5. After completing her tailoring course at Gahaleni polytechnic, she stayed for 2 years at home since she did not have funds to start her own tailoring enterprise. She sought

 

for a casual job at a nearby shop which brought in very little income. She did this so that she could make ends meet and save up some money. Things changed when Wasichana Wetu Wafaulu (WWW) came in and gifted her with a sewing and over lock machine, and fabrics to start boost her business. “I am very grateful to the WWW project because when we started I never imagined I would get here , it has always been my plan to call the project team so that we can celebrate my milestones together.”

As last born daughter supporting the family

Celestine has managed to construct her parents a brick house out of the savings she got from her business. ‘I have invested like Ksh 20,000 to buy sand, cement and metal for the house. My father does the construction.’ Her parents are farmers and the father who spoke to us says, ‘’am very grateful for what my daughter has done. I don’t have a job and same for my wife. Our last born daughter really supports us as a family’’

Mentorship and future goals

Every business has its own challenges and Celestine’s is no exception ‘At times customers are very impatient, so when their clothes are not done on the agreed timelines, it brings chaos. An example was over the Christmas holiday when there was a lot of business. In order to solve this I ask my customers to bring in their orders early so that I can sew them in good time before the Christmas rush.’’

‘’My role model is my sister who teaches me how to sew men’s clothes, and after I have learnt I will get my own place.  She has also started to mentor other girls in her home area. ”I have a girl who asked me to teach her how to sew. This was after I stitched a dress for her and she was impressed.'”

Celestine also sews masks and sells to students of the nearby primary schools at either Kshs30, 40 or 50.To those that can’t afford she gives them freely. ‘’Because I was helped, I help too….’’

Celestine’s plans for the future is to go to Malindi, buy another sewing machine and employ somebody to work there. She is already saving up for that course.

She advises other young girls to emulate her and join TVETs to get expertise…

In 2020, our Wasichana Wetu Wafaulu project supported 16 TVET beneficiaries with Income Generating Activity (IGA) start-up kits. This was in a bid to kick start individual businesses that would generate income. The kits included fabrics, sewing & overlock machines for tailors and blow dry, dryers and other essentials for hair dressers. To assess their progress, we visited four beneficiaries with established tailoring businesses.