Kenya: Euphrasia Women’s Centre, a vital lifeline for Nairobi's poorest

Mukuru is a sprawling slum in Nairobi where an estimated 200,000 people live. Poverty is everywhere you turn. Women and girls are hardest hit by the severe living conditions; violent crime, unemployment, incidents of rape, domestic violence, abandonment/or child neglect are rampant. Most of the people of Mukuru live on less than $2 a day.

Amid this, the Good Shepherd Sisters of Kenya intervened 20 years ago and created the Euphrasia Women’s Centre (EWC) which comprises the Karibu Centre, a vocational training center and income-generating projects—all designed to give these women and girls a second chance.

To date, EWC has served the community very effectively and has helped a total of 206 women. Successes include:

At the Karibu Centre, safe refuge was given to 90 women (82 of whom are girls) and 34 babies over the last three years.

Vocational Training Centre: To date the training programs have helped over 80 percent find employment in factories, businesses, or hotels. A total of 37 girls have graduated, earning a Directorate of Industrial Training certificate in dressmaking within the last few years.

Income-Generating Program: There are 27 artisans in the IGP program. Women have accessed the skills to find jobs or start businesses, reportedly increasing their income levels from 3,000 to 6,000 ($72 USD) Kenya Shillings per month.

Despite these achievements, the Center is yet to be registered by the government. It is limited in space as activities at EWC continue to grow, and it lacks basic equipment such as machines and computers. Still, by December, 2014 the GSS aims to increase its budget by 30% from the current levels in order to:

  • To provide 288 women in crisis with basic needs (shelter, clothing & food) and counseling.
  • To train 60 girls in dressmaking via a two-year training program.
  • To provide 30 women with dignified work by engaging them in production of IGP products and empower them with other skills to enable them to join the local workforce.
  • To introduce hot meals for the training center students

With the help of our international partners, the project aims to create by 2014 a sustainable source of income for the program participants, plus expand its counseling, outreach and skills training capabilities. To learn more about the Euphrasia Women's Centre and their income generating projects visit their Facebook page