Written by Joyce Rutto, our Entrepreneurship Officer in Kenya, who plays a crucial role in providing follow-up and mentorship to BST beneficiaries. Read below as she shares more in-depth thoughts about our Business Start-Up Program’s impact…..
A Dynamic Shift
“In traditional African society, women were primarily responsible for childbearing and nurturing, taking care of the home, and focusing on marriage as their ultimate goal. Meanwhile, men were expected to be the sole providers for their families.
However, due to tough economic times and changes in family dynamics, women in our communities have been compelled to step up and contribute economically to their families, alongside supporting their husbands.
Business Startup Training (BST), one of the Economic Development Programs offered by 410 Bridge, aims to empower community members with entrepreneurial skills to start and manage their own businesses. The program’s desired outcome is to raise household income from earning less than a dollar per day to $5.
Achieving this improvement in income not only enhances their dignity, purpose, and decency but also grants them the freedom to make choices about their lives.
The BST Program
The BST program entails a 4-week comprehensive training intervention that combines theory with practical application in the field. Throughout the course, trainees are encouraged to engage in income-generating activities with a small capital of between Kshs. 100 – 500. By doing so, learners gain self-confidence.
Following the training, there is a minimum of 12 months of follow-up to assess the program’s impact and provide mentorship, advice, and support to enable the trainees to achieve their goals.
BST has proven to be a powerful agent of transforming mindsets within our communities, as evidenced by the testimonies of our trainees.
Naisoi Molo, full of joy, shared her story of transformation. She had lived in poverty until she attended BST training, which changed her perspective on poverty and empowered her to run a successful butchery business and food kiosk in Jua Kali, Mutirithia community.
The program has also restored hope, respect, and dignity to our community members, especially women who constitute the majority of our trainees.
Impact on Single Mothers
Single mothers, who bear the burden of providing for their families alone, often face rejection and disrespect in our communities. When they join BST, they are reminded that in the eyes of God, no one is a lesser being, and everyone is blessed with a gift or talent to enrich themselves and others.
We draw inspiration from biblical stories like the widow and the oil (2 Kings 4:1-7) and Abraham’s obedience, which led to God providing for him.
One heartwarming example is Hannah Wanjiru from Mugaa community, who, after attending BST, rekindled her tailoring business. She raised capital, revitalized her shop, and began mending clothes to generate income.
Now, she can afford meals for her family, a significant improvement from their previous struggles with only one meal a day.
A Spiritual Impact
BST not only uplifts people economically but also has a profound impact on their spiritual lives. As a Christ-centered organization, we believe that poverty stems from a broken relationship between God and humanity. Our programs aim to reconcile people with their maker and foster a strong spiritual foundation.
Many trainees, have found faith and actively participate in church activities after being touched by the devotions during the training. Moreover, BST fosters trust, respect, and harmony in homes and communities.
Ms. Charagua, a wife and mother of four, confessed that the training transformed her social interactions, helping her to live harmoniously with her family, especially her husband. This newfound communication has led to a more peaceful and loving household.
The 410 Bridge Business Start-up Training program serves as one of the vessels through which we transform the lives of community members, restoring their dignity, purpose, and freedom. It is our hope to continue empowering individuals and communities, inspiring positive change that lasts for generations to come.”
Want to Help Women Attend Business Start-Up Training? Sponsor Today! We currently have hundreds of women who are hungry to be a part of the BST program but need sponsors.
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