A key objective for Allavida is to work with community organizations and entrepreneurs to help create social enterprises that can generate significant social benefits but also offer financial returns for sustaining organizations as well as improving livelihoods. Allavida partnered with Kenya Girl Guides Association (KGGA) on a project at their Kibera Centre to train and provide support for young girls living and working in Kibera. The target beneficiaries are 15 to 23 girls who are no longer in formal schools and are looking for ways to learn life skills for their livelihoods.
The project aimed to empower the girls and young women economically, giving them the ability to generate income, own and control assets, access and use credit. The project initiative implemented was called “Learn and Earn Initiative” in which girls would go through a one year training program that aims to equip them with entrepreneurial skills through tailoring, beadwork, art and craft as well as life skills training. At the end of the training the girls would be able to own sewing machines and recruited at the KGGA production line that had been tasked with providing uniform for Kenya Girl Guides. They would be paid at the end of the month on work done, the proceeds from which they would use for their livelihoods, and partly pay back loans on sewing machines which upon completion of payment would become theirs .
Kinango is one of the poorest sub-counties in Kenya whose main challenge is persistent and increasing incidence of poverty. Allavida worked in partnership with Kenya Community Support centre with initial funding from Comic Relief with the aim to improve the livelihoods of community members living in Kinango through the use of locally available materials such as Aloe that grows naturally in the region. The aloe value chain project in Kinango is called the Kwale Women Empowerment project (KWEP). The project on Aloe growing and processing works with community based self-help groups composed of men and women with the latter being the majority. The project involves Aloe farming, processing and marketing at a small scale but looking to establish an Aloe based cottage industry to increase production and promoting cooperative movement in the area as a means of economic empowerment and livelihood support to the poor communities.
We invest in what people already have, in order to ensure that they have the determination and courage to change their lives for the better. Aid alone is not enough. We work to create a mix of grant funding and investment to help poor and marginalized people to really transform their lives. This is what Allavida strives to do and it’s what sets us apart from most development organizations. It’s a model that can influence development funding and practice and greatly increase the effectiveness of aid and investment. There has been insufficient focus on the potential of Africans to give to and invest in the development of their communities. Africa is a continent of ‘givers’, where even the poorest community is sustained by a centuries old culture of mutual aid. Yet the aid system ignores this and undermines the culture by creating dependency
Kwale Women Empowerment Project initiative aims to increase incomes for farmers for aloe bitter gum through sustainable value chain development as well as to increase natural resources management in Kinango through production of aloe products.We invest in what people already have, in order to ensure that they have the determination and courage to change their lives for the better. Aid alone is not enough. We work to create a mix of grant funding and investment to help poor and marginalized people to really transform their lives. This is what Allavida strives to do and it’s what sets us apart from most development organizations. It’s a model that can influence development funding and practice and greatly increase the effectiveness of aid and investment