From Where I Stand: I see my family happier and healthier because of my work
Bella, 26, was forced to move to Kakuma’s Refugee Camp with her three children. Arriving without income, they struggled to make the family food rations last. Now she is a tailor, producing clothes and bags that are sold in the camp and to external markets.
Being a refugee is a challenge on its own. When I arrived in Kakuma refugee camp, I didn't have any skills to do generate income and taking care of my family was hard. The rations we get sometimes don't reach to the end of the month and that motivated me to join the women’s group so I could earn money. When I joined, I was taught skills in jewelry, basketry, fashion and design and I found that my passion lay in tailoring dresses and making bags.
These skills have really helped me. I can now make some money to buy some extra non-food items and take care of my family.. We sell the clothes and bags we make at our business center in Kalobeyei and at various Don Bosco offices in Kakuma, where customers can pass by and buy the products. Some of our products even get sold in the UN gift shops in Nairobi and soon we will have them online.
I want to learn more so that one day in the future I will open my own shop and teach others and employ them. I see my family happier and healthier because of my work. If we run out of things like cooking oil before the next rations, I am able to buy some for them.
Bella, 26, is a beneficiary of a UN Women Leadership, Empowerment, Access and Protection project, implemented by Don Bosco in Kalobeyei settlement, Kakuma, Kenya. The project aligns with SDG 5 as it supports refugee and host communities’ women and girls in accessing new sources of income and economic opportunities through skills and livelihoods development and increasing the access of vulnerable women and girls to effective services & protection mechanisms through social spaces in refugee and host communities.