Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Alternative livelihoods in Mkwiro

The women's group with some of their handmade products 

Every week GVI meets with the women’s group from Mkwiro. The women’s group make a variety of things to sell to tourists, including mats purses and accessories.

Woven Mats 
We presented the ten objectives they were aiming to achieve in ten weeks they seemed really interested and, even though it was clear it was going to be tough, they were up for the challenge! I was really happy with their reaction (I was scared that they would not say anything and just nod!) and I really hope that it will work! But, as a matter of fact, I have reasons to be optimistic about their dedication. Indeed, the group has been really motivated, attending our weekly meetings and following English and Maths classes every week in order to gain skills they could use for their business.

The group make a colourful variety of products 
To motivate them, we proposed to write the ten objectives on the black board that we have on base. This way, every week a woman can go and tick an objective. I think it is always a rewarding feeling to tick something that you have done on a list and hopefully they will feel the same way.

So, as you can imagine, I am really looking forward to tomorrow since it is the deadline for the first objective on the list: have a final logo and write an information sheet about the group. It will probably be challenging but I really hope that they will come with ideas about what they want to write. And hopefully, tomorrow, one of them will be able to go to the board and proudly say: “one done nine more to go!” Unfortunately, it will probably be in Swahili so I will have to pay attention if I want to understand it .