Kingasunye Evelyn Ncherii lives in Empurkel, about 1-hour walking distance from Enoosaen – a small village in Transmara district in Kenya. She joined the program in summer 2014 and started learning how to sew by making Enkiteng bags (cloth gift wrapping bags) using donated fabric. She has now graduated to making the Enkiteng bags out of Kitenge fabric, as well as new products such as Kitenge knapsacks, shopping bags, wrap-skirts and other products made of Kitenge. In 2019, she also participated in our Pamoja program, where the seamstresses learned how to make all the garments of school uniforms and other products that they will be able to sell in Kenya, becoming independent seamstresses.
She is married, but her husband lives with his other wife, does not work and does not contribute to the family. She is caring for 9 children, 8 of which are her own.
Kingasunye’s formal education ended after class 3. She does not know how to write, she only knows how to sign her name. She would like for her children to go all the way to university and she works hard to make it happen.
Before she joined the Enkiteng Program, she used to grow and sell vegetables, as well as buy and resell milk from other farmers.
The very first money she earned in the Enkiteng program she used to build a latrine because her family never had one before. Now she is saving to build a better house and livestock.
In addition to sewing in the Enkiteng program, Kingasunye works as casual laborer, working in other people’s fields, harvesting maize and selling vegetables from her own garden.
When asked what she would like to change in her community, she said she would like all the children to attend school. Her neighbor’s son was left by his mother, so she is now taking care of him and sending him to school in addition to her own 8 children. She would like to see the community to do the same – help the disadvantaged attend school.