In January 2016, we opened up our very first NEEMA Shop just outside the busy town of Kitale. After two years of formal skills training in the classroom, the young women were given an opportunity to apply for a position at the shop, look for an outside internship, or seek out employment. The young ladies pictured below, were the first group to fill the NEEMA Shop.
Each one spent the past year learning about customer service, quality control, pricing their products, and so much more. They have fulfilled contract after contract making school uniform skirts, shorts and blouses, special dresses for individual customers, doing repair work, and completing interlock work for individuals in need. Slowly but surely, they have built a customer base. They are currently working diligently on a contract making 500 skirts for a secondary (high) school.
All but one of these young women are mothers. They have been saving their earnings to be used upon completion of this year long paid internship. They will have the freedom to put a downpayment on a machine, have money for rent, or pay their children's school fees.
December 2nd, they will be commissioned into a new season of life, life after NEEMA. Two have been hired by local shops as seamstresses, one recently married and plans to look for work in her new hometown, two are currently seeking employment, and one will be the manager of the NEEMA Shop.
Our hope is for this shop develop a strong reputation allowing it to not only make enough money to cover its running expenses and employ the young women, but that it would also make a profit to be used to support the work of NEEMA.
We are excited to see these dreams fulfilled and the dreams that fill the hearts of the young women that sit within its walls!