changing lives stitch by stitch
Kenana Knitters is located in Njoro in Nakuru County of Kenya. Njoro is mainly a farming area where agricultural work is easier to come by for men than it is for women folk.
Agricultural wages are insufficient to support the typical large and extended families found in Africa. The life of the women in Rural Kenya isn’t easy. Women typically do not have the same rights as men, with in the society and have limited access to land ownership. Women are also the backbone of the home and are required to juggle domestic duties and agricultural work - sowing, weeding and harvesting crops, but also caring for the children and elderly within the family, making food for their families and collecting firewood and water. In effect the women do a lot of unpaid work around their homes.
Job opportunities in Njoro include working in flower farms, sawmills and casual labourer work. The payment in these jobs tend to reflect gender stereotypes and some of these organisations provide relatively low earnings, poor working conditions and limited advancement opportunities. Further, women usually are paid less than men, even when the women perform the same or equal-value jobs.
Kenana Knitters believes that women are the heartbeat of their communities. Kenana Knitters’ ethos is to make a significant social impact in rural Kenya by empowering women to take charge of their lives through dignified work in a safe, family-friendly working environment.
The primary purpose of Kenana Knitters is to provide a source of income at a fair wage that goes directly into the hands of the women, enabling them to improve the quality of life for themselves and their families.
Kenana Knitters prides itself by operating within the cultural context of the daily demands of rural Kenyan women, including farming and tending their children, with respect to the environmental challenges.
Hand knitting is ideal, as it requires minimal equipment and can be done in small amounts of time. Knitting can even be done on the long walks that are required in rural areas and in the dark, since quite a few of the women live without electricity.
The sale of Kenana Knitters items helps women knit a brighter future through additional skills development offerings including IT courses and literacy classes. Kenana Knitters also invests in the overall welfare of the women by providing VCT, Family Planning and Health Clinics.
“I saw land, but had not money. I took my problem to Kenana."