Updated: Sep 17, 2020
Written by Jacinta Ndolonga
Just like most organisations affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Zuri Initiative in March 2020 had to suspend all on field training and recruitment for its Zuri Initiative Women Empowerment Program (ZIWEP).
Majority of the Zuri women were forced to stay at home and it was important to find ways for them to be engaged and active in their communities during the lock-down.
Thankfully the Zuri Initiative already had in place, a way in which to encourage women to participate in activities in their local community. This was being done through our program known as Social Capital Credits (SoCCs), a concept developed by Asia Initiatives. It was first introduced to our Zuri women in 2019 and has continued in 2020.
The Zuri Initiative rewards Zuri women when they undertake acts of collective "social good" in their community .
Social Capital can be defined as the network of relationships among people who live and work in a particular society, enabling that society to function effectively. These existing networks should inspire communities to undertake tasks for the social good without expecting any payment.
Acts of Social good are those that are meant to help or benefit a particular community. These can be in the form of community clean ups, taking care of the very sick and the elderly, passing down important skills especially to the youth, organising and participating in sexual health education. When doing these activities the women are rewarded with points (credits), which are accumulated over a period of time and can then be redeemed for items such as school subsidies, NHIF payments, Zuri Product Security Fee and specialised Zuri training like upcycling.
The Zuri Initiative has been supporting the Zuri women to work towards flattening the Covid-19 curve in their community especially in Kibera through the Zuri SoCCs program which is funded by FrauenPower.
Members of the Zuri Stawi group in Kibera undertook the following SoCCs activities from May to July 2020:
Zuri provided the women with the fabrics and sewing materials. The women made masks by hand and some by sewing machine.
Zuri has provided the Zuri women with money to make 100 litres of multipurpose liquid soap and 10 litres of hand wash detergent.
The Zuri women have been donating masks, liquid soap and jerricans to the most vulnerable and the elderly at the Kibera Day Care Centre for the Elderly.
The Zuri women have set up a hand wash station providing the community with water and soap to wash hands in the area of Kambi Muru in Kibera.
The Zuri women created awareness around health and cleanliness. They have been actively involved in encouraging the community to follow Covid - 19 safety measures.
The Zuri Initiative has distributed over 50 food packages to the Zuri women and some members of the Kibera Day Care Centre for the Elderly.
You can also be a part of creating awareness and impact amongst the local community in Kenya. Please email us firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can contribute your time, money and efforts towards making a difference.
Comment in the section below to let us know how you are making a difference in the community. We would love to hear from you on how our collective efforts can make a bigger impact.