Lucy Wairimu Kimaru is one of the seamstresses in our Enkiteng Program in Nyeri. She joined the sewing program in summer 2015 and started learning how to sew by making Enkiteng bags (cloth gift wrapping bags) using donated fabric. In addition to the Enkiteng bags from donated fabric, she is also making them out of Kitenge fabric, as well as new products such as Kitenge knapsacks, headbands and scrunchies and kitenge-burlap wine bags. She will also be learning how to make new products such as school uniforms and other products that they will be selling in Kenya, becoming independent seamstresses.
She lives in Nyeri, Kenya, with her husband and their daughter. Although she has been lucky enough to have her family encourage her to finish high school, she has found that she still has not had the same job opportunities as men in her community, and was never inspired to grow herself or her skill-set.
In addition to sewing in the Enkiteng Program, she is renting a small farm, where she grows vegetables for her family and for sale on a market. She hopes to save enough money through hard work and the Seeds to Sew program to open up a baking business in Nyeri. She hopes to accomplish this goal in about 5 years. Since joining the Seeds to Sew program, she has said that her financial standing as well as her family’s quality of life has improved.
When asked what she would like to change about her community, she says she does not like the insecurity and that the unemployment is so high.
“The Enkiteng sewing program has helped me so much already – I was able to rent a farm using savings I got from the program, and now I am able to farm. I also want to make sure that my daughter gets good education.”
~ Lucy Wairimu Kimaru