After overcoming life-threatening conditions and achieving stable health, our mothers embark on the crucial journey of attaining financial security through income-generating activities (IGAs). We provide year-round classes and workshops on business practices, food security initiatives, and principles of saving & borrowing money. With partner support, our mothers are building better lives for themselves and inspiring others to do the same.
The most immediate priority for enrolled mothers in HEART’s program is laser-focused attention on health and wellness. As our mothers transition from life-threatening conditions to stabilized health and steady recovery, their next critical step is to gain financial security through income-generating activities (IGAs). To support this goal, HEART offers year-round classes and workshops on IGAs at its 7 Women Equality and Empowerment Centers located throughout Kenya.
HEART has developed IGAs that cater to the specific requirements and circumstances of women residing in both urban and rural areas. The training and instruction offered cover a range of projects, including skilled sewing, creating handmade crafts, operating small bakeries, cereal production units, cottage farming, poultry production, and livestock rearing, such as sheep, goats, rabbits, pigs, and cattle.
HEART recognizes the importance of food security in its IGA projects. To achieve this, a sustainable income and food production model is implemented whereby HEART provides mothers and their households with chickens and two-story coops. Each mother is given two "improved" local chickens, chicken feed, veterinary drugs, drinkers, and a chicken coop to begin the project where they live.
The "improved" chicken provided to our mothers has several advantages over ordinary chickens. These include better laying ability, resistance to diseases, faster growth, and larger size. As a result, this breed of chicken is more sustainable compared to rearing ordinary local chickens, thus ensuring improved food security for our mothers and their children/dependents throughout the year.
In addition, the mothers and their children benefit from consuming the eggs produced by the chickens as a source of protein. They also utilize the manure to cultivate vegetables, for which they are provided with seeds such as carrots, spinach, kale, black night, and green amaranths that are rich in essential minerals and vitamins. The surplus eggs and vegetables are sold by the mothers to generate additional income to meet other family needs. In this way, the mothers are not only improving their food security but also their economic well-being.
Business training from HEART
As part of the program, the mothers receive business training that includes creating a business plan to implement in their respective businesses. The range of skills taught encompasses various fields, such as dressmaking, mat making, as well as sales of cereals, vegetables, milk, eggs, and chickens. Moreover, the training covers breeding of goats, chickens, and sheep, along with establishing tree nursery businesses and providing catering services.
Savings and Internal Lending Communities
HEART's mothers are educated on saving and borrowing through their own Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILC), which are registered groups managed and led by the mothers themselves. These groups serve as a platform for saving and borrowing money to expand their businesses. To support the SILC groups, HEART provides them with startup capital upon the completion of each group's training program.
Leadership and governance
HEART's mothers undergo leadership and governance training, resulting in some of them assuming the role of center coordinators at the HEART centers, while many others act as peer educators within their community.
The Next Generation (NextGen)
HEART is dedicated to promoting economic empowerment, which extends to the children of the women we assist who may not have had the opportunity to pursue primary, secondary, or tertiary education due to poverty.
The NextGen project is an extension of HEART's mission to break the cycle of poverty in the next generation by providing young people with education and valuable technical skills. These programs empower young people with skills (such as woodturning and ironworks), as well as Bible study, knowledge of savings, quality production, costing, and marketing, all of which provide them with an excellent platforms to improve their lives and fulfill their aspirations.