“I have always been a harsh mother. I would scold and shout at my son every time he did something wrong. Little did I know, my approach made him distance himself from me and fear me to a point of not sharing his challenges,” says Radhiya a middle aged mom.
Street Business School (SBS) Background
All this drastically changed when she joined Street Business School (SBS) project being implemented by Kesho Kenya. Its main aim is to empower women living in poverty to change their lives through launching their own micro-businesses and igniting their spark within. SBS offers a dynamic, transformative entrepreneurial training experience including basic business skills and confidence building.
Our safeguarding officer trained the Mtwapa cluster group through the various entrepreneurship modules and after every session, she would discuss with them child protection issues, forms and signs of child abuse, children rights and the right reporting mechanism.
From a harsh to a friendly mom
Radhiya is now very much grateful for the child protection discussions they frequently had. She says, “My ears are now open on how to deal with children more so teenagers. I now know how to approach issues and ensure I maintain open communication lines between me and my child.” She adds, “He is
currently my friend and bodyguard. Whenever he encounters challenges I am the first person he runs to for help.” She expresses that the son was greatly concerned on her change of character when dealing with him unlike previously when she would scold him and be tough on him. She says that she told him that was because of the child protection classes she had undergone. Radhiya explains that she currently know where to report a child protection issue if she witnesses within her surroundings.
Juice making business
The hard-working mom is married with one child and the husband resides in Sudan. He is currently not employed forcing her to get into businesses so as to cater for her family’s needs. When she heard that Kesho Kenya was conducting entrepreneurship training for Mtwapa community members she hurriedly joined. She blends juices and sells them out to earn a living.
“Before, I would just sell the juices I would produce but did not know whether I was making profits or losses. Elizabeth, our couch taught me how to do record keeping, balance sheets and how to determine if I am making profits or losses.” She elaborates that now she knows how much she can spend for other needs and how much she should put back in the business.
Radhiya’s son has currently completed his primary school education and is looking forward to joining high school. She says that her wish is to have her son joining a good boarding secondary school in up country because they instil discipline into students unlike many coastal schools. She says that he has a few savings that she is planning to use to take her son to secondary school beginning of next year.
Growing her business
After the son goes to school, she wants to start up a fast food joint where she will be preparing meals and drinks, packing them up in plastic containers and distributing to schools at an affordable price. She explains that she has noted that most students do not usually like the food prepared in their schools claiming that they are tasteless. She feels that students will be placing orders with her since her food will be hygienically packed and retailing at an affordable amount.
Importance of cluster groups
“We call ourselves Mwangaza group because we all live in unity. In as much as we have completed the SBS modules and graduated, we are still united and will continue to support one another grow. She gives an example and says that they will be having a wedding in her family in December 2019 and they will be sourcing for most stuff like firewood, vegetables, cooking pots and plates from her fellow group members so as to promote them. All our businesses have greatly grown and improved thanks to Kesho Kenya.”