10. Portraits of Strong Women
A PURCHASE WITH AN IMPACT: A PORTRAIT OF THREE STRONG WOMEN
This is Bernadette. Bernadette walks nearly every day from her home in Il Ngwesi to the local sewing center and leads a group of women who volunteer their time to make reusable sanitary napkin kits for the women and girls of the community. They gather together in this light-filled room with their tattered sewing machines working toward providing a better future for their children by ensuring their girls are not forced to skip school simply because they are menstruating. Our team had the privilege of visiting with Bernadette and her sisters at the sewing center and were both inspired and humbled by their strength and determination. When asked to share her thoughts on the investment in Il Ngwesi that your support will allow, she told us, “Okay for me I can say my big wish is all our big wishes is to keep this project to be sustainable so that it will be inherited with our daughters, sons, it is something in the community they will keep on remembering for years and years to come. So that's the big dream.”
This is Priscilla. Priscilla is the only nurse in the Il Ngwesi community. She runs the humble community-run medical center where she does everything from providing basic healthcare services, to delivering the babies of the village. Priscilla leaves her own children at her home miles away and lives at the clinic during the week as she is the only lifeline the village has to medical care. She is quiet but mighty. Priscilla has a dream for her clinic, and for her community. When you make a conscious choice to support Priscilla through a purchase from TheOne08, her wishes, and the well-being of an entire community, take a step closer to reality. “I wish to see every child who is being born, is being born in the right environment, it’s getting what it's supposed to get. Because I have the experience that many babies who are born, are born to live. Because I’ve worked in a well equipped hospital, for one year I didn’t see neonatal death or anything. So many babies they die because they didn’t receive what they were supposed to receive or they were born without anyone to take care of them. But if the facilities could be improved, no baby should die of delivery or during delivery.”
This is Jackie. Jackie is the Manager at Il Ngewsi Eco-Lodge and is among a handful of women in leadership roles in the safari industry. “It’s not common. It’s a unique thing, because most lodges, actually not even being a manager, even other duties like a waiter or a room steward. Most of the time they give the male. Because culturally most men wouldn’t allow their wives coming to work in the lodge. So it’s special, it’s unique, and it shows that we’re moving forward. Identifying like what men can do, even women can do also. So that’s a very motive direction that we’re moving toward.”
Il Ngwesi, nestled near the foot of Mt. Kenya, is the home of these three beautiful, strong women and many, many more. They all possess a drive and generosity of spirit that is a revelation. With the purchase of your bag on our Kickstarter campaign, launching on August 27, 2019, TheOne08 + Il Ngwesi + You will invest in and establish not only the first manufacturing partnership of its kind, which will provide a viable means of livelihood to the community, and with it education, stability and opportunity; but also in the dreams of these three women (and so many like them), for themselves, for their children and for their community.