By Obegi Malack
Oxfam Novib and Huairou Commission members and other donors have been impressed with projects carried out by Rural Women Network in Kajiado County under Fair 4 All (FAIR) project in Kenya.
The donors are supporting Fair 4 All project which is a five years intervention to strengthen grassroots’ women in various value chains.
Huairou Commission Director Sandy Schilen said they also support grassroot women in other countries worldwide.
They support the project to ensure respect for human rights and increase of opportunities for women small scale producers who have the potential to uplift the livelihoods of millions of women, men, girls and boys.
Opportunities for transformative change were particularly spotted in palm oil, sugar, coffee, cocoa, rubber, vegetables, fruits, oil, gas and gold.
In Kenya the projects is being implemented among the grassroots women’s organizations in six counties of Kakamega, Siaya, Homa Bay, Kajiado, Makueni and Kisumu. Rural Women Network (RWN) implements the project in Kajiado County.
RWN executive director Pauline Kariuki said through the programme grassroots women’s organizations in Kenya decided to pull themselves out of the trap of marginalization, abandonment and poverty by developing grassroot ’s women owned and led socio-economic interventions that are targeted at policy reforms and viable value chain-based business models and management practices.
Kariuki said the programme has achieved a lot in the six counties, it has strengthened the organizational capacity of the grassroots women’s organizations through capacity building in community mobilization and organization, leadership and governance.
It has also created awareness on women rights that include land tenure and ownership over other productive resources, rights against domestic violence, rights against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and the rights of the girl and boy child education.
She added that it has also improved capacity building of grassroots women on existing economic opportunities in the selected value chains and in policy advocacy on value chains and access to productive resources.
In Kajiado RWN has supported women groups to address the priority challenges of food and nutrition security and incomes through a number of targeted interventions through support of Houror and OXfarm.
Lucy Lemashisha who is a community leader in Ewuso Kedong Kajiado County said though the trainings she has been able to start her own farm and beadwork project.
The program has created women rights awareness, supported beadwork value chain as an alternative and sustainable income generating source, promoted Africa Leafy Vegetables (ALVs) and local poultry (Chicken) value chains.
It has also equipped them with financial skills and capacity building of community trainers of trainers.