Guided by the thirst for education, a will to transform her family and desire to impact society, another young woman shares her steps towards a positive future.
Mercy, a 20-year-old lady from Flax (Uasin-Gishu County), graduated from St. Bakhita House of Hope with a Certificate in Tailoring and Dressmaking about a month ago. Coming from very humble background, she is not ready to allow her background determine her destiny – the very reason she took the initiative of joining St. Bakhita in 2017. Her desire to design her own destiny has been an inherent part of her life, one which is evident in her thirst for education. “I used to walk a distance of more than 15 Kilometers to attend tailoring classes at St. Bakhita. My motivation was because I have a great passion in dressmaking and I was thirsty to get the skills so that I can transform my life and that of my family”.
Being an added value
Over a period of 1 year, Mercy completed a vocational training course and partook in a 6-month business incubation. Like others, she also received a graduation starter pack (set of tailoring machine and materials).As the sun scorches outside her roof, Mercy continues to work and chat. She explains that she is indebted to St.Bakhita since it is through the skills she got from the organization that she was able to secure an employment in her aunt’s tailoring shop. Her aunt joins our conversation, adding that Mercy has really contributed to growth of her business particularly due to the “elegant and nice designs she makes which have been attracting new customers”. As she laughs,Mercy adds that she has been using the entrepreneurial skills she got during the incubation period which to promote the business. Not the least, the business cards that St.Bakhita designed for her (as part of her graduation package) has been useful in advertising her works by sharing them to new and potential customers.
Thinking ahead and beyond…
Mercy describes her plans of starting her own business and later expand it to a big cloth line. She believes that this will only be possible if she will be able to save enough from the salary her aunt is paying her and raise the capital required to start the business. “I have no doubt that when I will start my business, it will celebrate its third birthday and beyond because I will employ a variety of secrets such as delivering clothes to my customer’s doorsteps, treating them with integrity and listening to their feedback so as to acquire and retain more customers”. As the conversation comes to an end, Mercy concludes that she hopes to be among the great women entrepreneurs in the fashion industry in Flax town.
- Mercy is among a 24-member cohort who graduated in August 2018 from St. Vincent Training Center(Now St.Bakhita House of Hope) supported by Slovak Aid. Recent gender studies confirm that increase in labor force participation and income of women like Mary do positively influence faster economic growth and better childcare. Guided by her thirst for education, a will to transform her family and desire to impact society, there is hope that Mary and her cohort can utilize their new skills to improve their livelihoods and impact on the sustainable development of their communities.
- This article is extracted from our ongoing post-graduation follow-up and advisory assistance