Being a woman in Kenya is not easy, and being disabled on top of that makes it a serious challenge to have a "normal" life (school, friends, marriage, etc.), let alone find employment to cover basic needs. Our limited mobility prevents us from taking common public transportation and go anywhere that's not on the ground floor. Too often, we end up begging on the street for our children.
We came together 17 years ago to collectively produce goods (e.g. baskets, dresses and jewelry) and feed our kids. Almost all of us are single mothers as marrying a disabled woman is generally shunned by the society.
We also initiated the disability movement in Mombasa and are the only organization to actively advocate for the rights of women with disabilities in Kenya. Through lobbying, we were able to get women with disabilities appointed to the Mombasa county government for the first time last year. We are also proud that persons with disabilities can now get disability benefits without having to pay for initial medical exam fees (previously, prohibitive costs prevented many from applying).
In 2015, thrives broke into our office and stole everything valuable. Our members are mostly Christian, and our faith and hope have carried us through.
We have relocated to a secure space and are ready to bounce back. But we need your help to rebuild office and production infrastructure.
Immediate needs: ~600,000 Kenya shillings (KES), or ~US$6,000, to cover basic office needs (e.g. computer, wifi, printer, flash disk, furniture, etc.), production equipment, and a transportation tool (tuk tuk).
Long-term needs: ~1.5 million KES (~$15,000) to buy land and/or building. Our vision is to own space with several rooms which encompass production activities, an office, and housing.
To empower women with disabilities to become self-reliant socially and economically. While we are already making far reaching impact through policy changes, we are striving to expand our business activities so we may employ more disabled women.
Thank you for your support! We are grateful for, and humbled by, your continued generosity.
The Tunaweza Women Team
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