Youths in Kenya comprise two thirds of the total population. Many of them face the hardships of unemployment; hence the pressing challenge to provide jobs for young people aged between 18 and 25 years. But as many youths move into urban areas in search of employment, one lady from Urusie village in Eldama ravine, Baringo County is reaping big from her creativity.
Having tried her hand in horticulture farming growing kales, cabbages and capsicum, getting low returns and with a young child to take care of, Norah Kemboi was hit hard by the burden. Buoyed by the harsh life, she joined the Sachang’wan River women group together with 17 other women with a belief to make her life better.
The group was trained by HiH EA on enterprise development model. Immediately after the training, HiH EA linked her with an extension officer from the Ministry of Agriculture who trained her on how to improve her farming by practicing seasonal planting, choice of good quality seeds and how to control crop diseases. Her crops yields became better and she started selling in the market making an average daily sale of Ksh 400.
As she worked on her farm, she felt that she was not getting enough money to take care of herself and her daughter and she thought of starting a curio shop. “My daughter would fall sick and I would turn to my friends to loan me money to take her to hospital and later repay the money with a lot of difficulties. I was tired and needed to do something to stop the vicious cycle.”
Equipped with the training on savings, she was able to save Ksh 5,000 as start-up capital.
While at secondary school, Norah had learnt the art of beadwork and drawing. She used the savings and a loan from the HiH EA Enterprise Incubation Loan to rent a shop and buy some raw materials.
She makes beautiful handcrafted beaded jewelry, flower vases and baskets which sells between Ksh 300- 1500. She also buys and resells sculpted carvings made out of wood. Her curio shop is strategically located near the North of the Equator crossing in the Rift Valley, a favorite place for tourists visiting Lake Bogoria National reserve and Lake Baringo. “Am happy my life has turned out well. I am a big business woman in my community and I have learnt the importance of keeping records even if I sell one item.”
Norah has employed a man who helps her sell and maintain cleanliness at the shop. “I am teaching him how to do beadwork so that he will start his own beading business. I am also saving to go on holiday within Kenya with my daughter!”