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Women doing bead work

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Women weaving bags
PROACT is a carefully formulated non-profit project aimed at addressing the problems facing local women, namely; poverty, unemployment and gender inequality through the selling of curios made by these women. More than 50% of Kenyans' live below the poverty line (CBS). Curio making is one of the best means of helping the poor societies in Kenya since it is practiced by the marginalized communities, requires little capital to kick off and the fact that the business is labor intensive and requires semi-skilled labor.

Essentially, the project works with women since the majority are the sole breadwinners in most rural homesteads. Most women in Kenya lack land, adequate employment in agriculture and or formal employment. Currently, the project boosts of over 50 women members who are benefiting from this small manufacturing outfit.

PROACT program uses an alternative dimension to international curio trade by promoting sustainable development for the marginalized African Curios producers in Kenya. PROACT's primary goal is thus to help the marginalized and disadvantaged Kenyan women curio by advancing micro-loans, promoting producers' independence and gender equality, providing decent working conditions, increasing their production capacity and helping them to sell their curios at fair prices in the Fair Trade.

PROACT Program is guided by the slogan "Give the marginalized women a fish and you feed them for today, teach them to fish and you feed them forever". We at PROACT believe that sustainable curio trade is better than aid because it equips the women with a sustainable means of earning their livelihood as opposed to waiting for funds which might not be forthcoming or may not be consistent.

Currently, the project coordinates the production and the marketing of products from three workshops in Kenya: Olmakaun in Kitengela, Nyaciondo in Gitugi Division and Katangi in Machakos. Each workshop is self-managed; salaries and working conditions are well above other production centers from the same sector. In excess of this members are trained on how to produce high quality products, how to save and reinvest their earnings, how to form social groups and how to improve their welfare. At the moment Olmakaun Workshop has 32 women members,Nyaciondo workshop has 25 women members in total while Katangi workshop boosts of 20 women. Olmakaun project produces Maasai beads products, namely; necklaces, neck collars, bracelets, mats and watch bands. Nyaciondo and Katangi weave hand made African bags from wool, sisal and banana fibers.



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