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Gender Empowerment through Economic Upliftment

This project initiated with the idea of empowering women in the rural areas to have an additional source of income to contribute towards their household expenses in these times of extremely high rate of poverty, accelerating rate of inflation, rise in the standard of living and lack of adequate rainfall.

For the second consecutive year, a six day seminar was organized from 9th to 14th February 2013 at the Bilal hall to empower, educate and guide the ladies under the Economic Upliftment Project run by Bilal Muslim Mission of Kenya in the rural centres. Two members from each group participated in this seminar.

On 9th, February the ladies from all the groups had the opportunity to display their products at an exhibition cum sale held by the Ithnasheri Ladies Young Union (ILYU), Mombasa at Mulla Asgher Memorial Hall.

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The ladies also had an opportunity to go round to visit other stalls set up by communities' ladies.  This has been an eye opener as they learnt about many different types of businesses.

On the second day, the Creative Cookery Team from KSI Mombasa Jamaat, demonstrated their cooking skills.  They cooked variety of mouth watering dishes from locally available resources in the rural villages that can turn into good business, like mabuyus, acharis, caramel and salty popcorns, cake, doughnuts, different types of chapattis, chevdo with cassava chips etc.

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Lectures on Microfinance, Livestock / Poultry rearing, Leadership skills and Record keeping, Islamic Religious Studies were conducted by Sis Lorraine, from the Ministry of Agriculture, Br John Ojwang, from the Ministry of Livestock rearing, Sis Sidi Nyota- Trainer and Sis Ruiya Salim respectively.

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The Microfinance lecture covered topics such as Business planning, Marketing, Mobilizing resources to start the business, Value addition of natural resources found in the centres e.g. tomatoes, etc

While the lecture on livestock rearing included - Treatment / vaccination for the goats/poultry, the necessities of the goats/poultry (accommodation, food), how to keep records of the milk/eggs received from the goat / hen and value addition of milk.

The group accompanied the trainer to the Mackinon Market to check out various business opportunities.

The Islamic Religious Education (IRE) session included topics such as - The importance of Hijab and Role of Women in Islam.

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Certificates were awarded to the participants by Sis Neelam Jiwa - Chairlady of ILYU, Sis Zohra Khaku – member of the Creative Cookery, Sis Sidi Nyota- trainer of BMMK, and Sis Ruiya Salim after the closing ceremony.

A thank you speech was given out by Sis Sidi Nyota and Sis Neema Mawazo to appreciate all the hard work done by the entire team of BMMK, ILYU and the Creative Cookery Team.

Comments from participants

Sada Kea – Tujumuikane Women Group, Mtongwe

"We have learnt about skills and tips on business management, livestock keeping, creative cookery and record keeping.  When I get back home, I intend to first ensure that I put into practice whatever I have learnt at this seminar. Secondly, I will insha allah pass the same knowledge and skills to my group members."

Bidala juma – Khadijatul Kubra Women Group, Shimoni

"The thing that has touched me during this seminar is the creative cookery lessons. This lesson has opened a new window through which I can engage in cookery. The other interesting session was on business management skills. From this lesson, I have come to realize that poverty has its own remedy. We learnt about a very interesting 'income – investment cycle' which depicts the reasons for our failures in business. I intend to put into practice all these useful skills I obtained."

Bilal Muslim Mission of Kenya would like to thank the team of Ithnasheri Young Ladies Union (IYLU), the Creative Cookery Team and all those involved in the process of empowerment of these women from the rural centres.

Bilal Muslim Mission of Kenya
P.O. Box 82508 - 80100
Tel: 254 41 2229641
Mombasa.

For news of our activities, visit www.kenbilal.org

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