Emily Wanjiku



Emily Wanjiku is a married mother of two beautiful daughters and born in 1973. Emily is unique she is physically challenged. However her physical challenge does not deter her from achieving her objectives. Emily was raised in Daggoreti Children’s home for the disables children. When she was 12 years old she was trained on making of fish flies and bead work at the same children’s home. On completion of her training she was employed at the children centre feed the children department to make bead art products that were being exported to Japan. She worked at the centre for eight years where the job line closes rendering her unemployed. Due to her physical disability it was difficult for her to get employment. She therefore opened a grocery and deserted her beadwork. It is during this period that a Massai from Tanzania passed at her grocery and notices a bead chain Emily had made. He requested Emily to make some for him. It is at this time that Emily realized that she can still use her bead making skills to make money. She therefore started making beads products for sale as a hobby.

In July, 2011 Emily and some of her friends met Mary the then branch manager of Hand in Hand Kawangware Branch, she introduced them to HiH and assigned them to a Trainer who helped them start a self help group and commenced HiH training.

Thanks to HiH training Emily started taking her Beadwork hobby as a business; she has learned how to persevere and be persistent to her business.  Hence spends the whole day operating her business. She has also involved her husband fulltime in the business; therefore created employment for him. Emily appreciates that she can now be able to handle customers. 

HiH taught me that a customer should pay a deposit (in cash or material) before I commence work, this will make them committed to collecting the products. This has helped me in reduction of theft of my products by customers who do not pay

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Besides handling customers, she is now able to budget, do financial planning and separate the business and domestic finances. She has appreciated savings where she has been able to save KES 11,000 in her bank account with Equity Bank.

Her income has since increased she makes approximately KES 12,000 per month profits which is an improvement since she joined the HiH program.

I can say am now living a better life, am able to pay for a better house near the road which makes my movement easier, buy food for may family. My daughter is able to go for school tuition which she could not be able to attend previously because am able to pay for it.

Emily has also received specialized training on Mat making from Pascal the HiH Business Relationship Officer. This has helped her increase her product line as now she is able to make mats which she has also trained her husband how to make.

Emily also engages three of her group member’s and some neighbors who have beads skills to work on casual basis when she has excess work. She pays them on piece rate.

Emily appreciates that she had a paradigm shift towards business 

I have realized that having my own business is good and can employ me fulltime mostly when I plan and take it seriously, I can get a lot of income