The community of Lwala is rural and reliant on subsistence farming and small cash crops like sugar cane. Most villagers live on less than $1 of consumption per day. Because true well-being also involves economic stability, we have enacted programs to strengthen the local economy as well as employing 180 Kenyans through our various programs — women make up 75% of our workforce.
Through a partnership with Development in Gardening (DIG), we train local people in organic farming techniques in order to bring improved knowledge and practice to the community. A demonstration garden on the hospital grounds provides hands-on agricultural training to local farmers. The vegetables grown in the hospital garden are supplied to patients and staff and also sold in the community for income generation for the individual groups. Over 1,650 community members have been trained to date, many of whom have applied the techniques they have learned in their own home gardens.
In 2009, Grace Ochieng’, a native of Lwala and sister to founders Milton and Fred, began a microenterprise project with women tailors in the Lwala community. This sewing cooperative, called the New Vision Women’s Sewing Cooperative, now employs 10 local women. The women make a line of cloth bags in partnership with Thistle Farms, a social enterprise which sells women’s bath and body products in the U.S. These bags are sold in Whole Foods stores across the U.S.
With support from Harpeth Hall School and Imago Dei Fund, the sewing co-op produces school uniforms and reusable cloth menstrual pads to distribute to local school girls as incentives to stay in school.
In collaboration with Kiva ZIP, Lwala provides loans to individuals so that they can obtain financial security through microenterprise ventures. Sine 2013, 61 loans have been endorsed, totaling nearly $11,000, with a 95% repayment rate.
The Furaha Soap Making Cooperative makes and sells liquid soap that can be used for washing clothes and dishes as well as hand washing.The soap is marketed to local businesses and schools and provides income for the group. The cooperative produces disinfectants and detergents for clothes and cleaning that they sell to markets both in and outside of North Kamagambo.
You can help us sustain our existing programs and roll out further initiatives by making a donation now.