Mombasa-based women with disabilities group dubbed ‘Tunaweza Women with Disability (TWD)’ seeks to empower its group members with a source of income through various activities such as weaving and tailoring.
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 chairlady Lucy Chesi revealed that 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 becoming self-sufficient.
Some of the group members make all-natural peanut butter products, while others weave baskets using recycled plastic bags.
They also make clothes and bags and a variety of jewelry using recycled posters, newspapers, and the Maasai beads.
Chesi 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 loan of Sh.50, 000 from the women empowerment fund with their borrowing now standing at Sh.350, 000.
The chairlady of the CBO says the initiative has improved the socio-economic condition of members and in turn the betterment of their entire families.
Chesi says members now have a pathway to economic empowerment and can now support their families financially.
The group members 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.
The organization has so far impacted the society in a big way by also spearheading the rights of women with disabilities. In 2016, they got women with disabilities to be elected to Mombasa County government for the first time.