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Mwingi Women form basket sewing and soap making groups to survive Covid-19

A group of women in the Mwingi West constituency have come up with a better way of escaping the pangs of the Covid-19 pandemic. This is after they united to form women groups engaging in basketry and soap making to earn a living.

Christine Mutoni at her sisal farm. Photo/BONIFACE KANYALI

Through Crisbel foundation which was formed by one of their member, the women are now making sisal-made baskets which they sell locally or abroad after value addition. They have also established an aloe vera plantation where they obtain some of the materials for making medicated soaps for sale. Christine Mutoni who is the founder of the NGO said that she was touched by the suffering of women and young girls who had been impregnated in Kitui and Kajiado counties especially during this period of Covid-19. "I was touched when I saw how women especially widows and young mothers from my home area were suffering due to abject poverty and lack of livelihoods. So I decided to come up with a Foundation to empower them," narrated Christine.

Ms Mutoni has since brought together groups of women from the Mwingi West involving mostly widows and young mothers. She supplies them with raw materials for making baskets, soap, and leatherwork so that they may earn a living by selling the items to willing buyers.

However, she says that the number of young girls who have dropped out of school in Kitui County is overwhelming and partnership with well-wishers and county governments is necessary. "There are many more young girls out there who have recently dropped out of school. The recent statistics in Kitui show that over 2,000 girls were impregnated during the Covid-19 lockdown period. All these girls can't be enrolled with my Foundation due to financial constraints I therefore urge likeminded partners to come on board and government to chip in and help the girls," she added. Juliana Nguli, one of the beneficiaries of the activities being undertaken by the Chrisbel Foundation says that women have really benefitted as now they can get some money to buy food for their families, as well as pay school fees for their children.



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