We are working with the local women and girls as well as organizations in their communities, empowering women by teaching them basic sewing and business skills and providing girls with opportunity to bead bracelets and make other products as a way to pay for school-fees and school-related expenses. The products that our participants create (Enkiteng Bags, Enkisoma Bracelets and Githomo Gifts) are then sold by Seeds to Sew domestically. All proceeds are returned to the women and girls in the programs so that they can pay for school fees, medical care, and feed their families.
We are committed to developing programs that increase access to education and create new economic opportunities for women and girls in disadvantaged, poverty-stricken areas. The data that does exist concerning investments in women and girls show that by improving women and girls’ access to education and economic opportunities, positive, lasting change results.
Consider the following:
- When a girl in the developing world receives seven or more years of education, she marries four years later and has 2.2 fewer children. The population’s HIV rate goes down and malnutrition decreases 43%.[i]
- An extra year of primary school boost girls’ eventual wages by 10 to 20 percent. An extra year of secondary school: 15 to 25 percent. If 10% more girls go to secondary school, the country’s economy grows 3%.[ii]
- When women and girls earn income, they reinvest 90 percent of it into their families, as compared to only 30 to 40 percent for a man.[iii]
- The total global population of girls ages 10 to 24 – already the largest in history – is expected to peak in the next decade[iv], nearly 50 million girls are living in poverty, and yet 99.4% of international aid money is not directed to them[v].
An estimated 26% of girls are married before their 18th birthday in Kenya. Women living in rural areas are twice as likely to be married under age 18 than women living in urban areas. This urban-rural divide has increased by 36% since 2003. [vi] [vii]
We have seen that with education, skills, self-esteem and an ability to generate income, women can better provide for their families. Their stature within the community changes, they are better able to control resources, they are able to influence decision-making and can bring about changes that have a lasting impact on the well-being of themselves, their children and their villages for generations to come.
Our goal is to provide a platform by which women and girls can create a future for themselves, their children, and their society. Our mission is to influence positive, transformative, and lasting change in the lives of these women and girls, their children, and their communities. Our philosophy in developing these programs recognizes the complex interconnectedness of individuals, communities, corporations, and political bodies. Working with non-governmental organizations (NGO’s), and other non-profit groups that align with our mission, we undertake an inclusive approach, involving men, community leaders, local businesses, global corporations and governing officials in implementing programs.
Why only girls and women? With all our own economic problems here at home, why worry about some other woman half a world away?
- Of the world’s 1.3 billion poor people, it is estimated that nearly 70% are women
- Women do almost 70% of the world’s work, but generate only 10% of the world’s income, and own 1% of the world’s land
- In most countries, women work approximately twice the unpaid time that men do
- Two-thirds of the 130 million children worldwide who are not in school are girls
- The primary victims of today’s wars are civilian women & their children, not soldiers
- Between 75-80% of the world’s 27 million refugees are women and children
- Only 28 women have been elected heads of state or government in this century and women hold only 11.7% of the seats in the world’s parliament
The world has become a very small place. We have a vision of bridging the divide, lifting each other and our communities by creating and celebrating commonalities. One woman at a time…..one stitch at a time….together we can make a difference for generations to come.
[i]United Nations Population Fund, State of World Population 1990, [ii]George Psacharapoulous and Harry Anthony Patrinos. “Returns to Investment in Education: A Further Update,” Policy Research Working Paper 2881 (Washington D.C.: World Bank, 2002), [iii]Chris Fortson, “Women’s Rights Vital for Developing World” Yale News Daily 2003, [iv] Ruth Levin et al, “Girls Count: A Global Investment and Action Agenda” 2005, [v] The Nike Foundations, “The Girl Effect” 2010; [vi] The Law Library of Congress, Parliament passes comprehensive Marriage Bill, changes process for contracting customary marriages, 2014; [vii] UNFPA, Child marriage profile: Kenya, 2012