Arriving in Naro Moru, Kenya, one quickly sees that there are two sides to this bustling community.
Centrally located along the Nanyuki-Nyeri Highway, the Naro Moru business district features a buzz of people stopping into the roadside stalls and concrete shops contained in concrete buildings a few steps off the main freeway. But after passing through the town center, visitors who take a right down the bumpy dirt road will see the more quiet and rural side of Naro Moru, where houses abut fields of potatoes, beans, and strawberry fields and people call out greetings to their neighbors as they pass by on the path.
Women living outside of Central Naro Moru stay busy tending to the myriad responsibilities related to their households and their crops. But sit down for a conversation with these women, and you would learn that most feel they could be doing a lot more to contribute to their families financially if only they had access. “I have many skills and can make many things,” one woman said. “But I don’t have the opportunity to show these skills and products to others.”
Members of the Naro Moru Women’s Group meet regularly to discuss and organize community improvement efforts.
In 2015, Edge of Seven plans to work alongside the local NGO ACCESS and the Naro Moru Women’s Group to construct a Women’s Resource and Business Development Center that will provide skills training and access to a marketplace in Central Naro Moru to more than 500 women associated with the core group. We plan to break ground in 2015.
The center will not only give women the opportunity to bring their products to a larger market, it will allow them to convene as a group and take advantage of workshops and trainings on a variety of issues related to health, business development, and handicrafts. The center will also be used as a space for resource sharing among local NGOs in the community.
“Women in Naro Moru are finding that there is strength in numbers. If people pool their resources in self-help groups of their own creation and volunteer their time, they can radically change their lives and the lives of their families and communities,” said Margaret N. “This center will have a significant influence on many people in an area with great need.”
If you would like to learn more about getting involved on the ground with the Naro Moru Women’s Center, please check out our volunteer opportunities coming up in June 2015!