Compassion CBO believes in showing people how to change their lives instead of having to rely on others. We believe in providing long term solutions to poverty and hunger through giving those in abject poverty the skills that can provide them with sustainable incomes. Our greatest challenge is providing the financial support that they need to start up their business.
In 2014, we were given a training manual written by postgraduate students at the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University, to teach local women groups the business skills they need to start and expand small businesses within their communities.
So far we have trained over 100 people from 15 different groups on areas such as marketing, where to buy their stocks and how to manage their money. Each trainee was helped to write a business plan.
In 2012, Compassion CBO began a pilot project in Githogoro slum. In 2013/ 2014, they gave 5 women each a piglet and training on rearing the animals. The five women who benefited agreed to give one piglet from each litter to help another woman start on the programme.
By giving each woman a piglet, they have a sustainable industry: sows can be bred from and piglets sold and the boars bring in income by being used to impregnate sows.
Profits from Compassion CBO's own pig project provides financial support for the Compassion CBO children Centre.
The chicken rearing project began in 2015 and works in the same way as the pig project, but will have even quicker returns for the women who receive the training and chicks as they will be able to sell the eggs in their communities.
The women will receive laying chickens that are fully vaccinated to begin with, thus ensuring that they will have the best chance at success with the venture. The start up costs for this project were provided by a Canadian philanthropist.
We provide local women's groups with the skills to make a variety of craftwork from shoes to mats, beaded jewellery to art and detergent. Compassion provides training over a one month period and provides advice on product design, marketing and retailing.
Items are sold in our display room near Limuru or through local markets.
In total, in Githogoro and near Limuru, Compassion has four plots of land for cultivation. We grow sweet potatoes, pumpkins, papaya, flowers. and many other fruits and vegetables. The land provides a small income for Compassion CBO as well as an opportunity for training.
Many seedlings are given away to women so that they can start their own agricultural ventures, but some of the produce is sold at below market value to provide local women with a sustainable source of income.