Saturday, April 18, 2009

Help Kenyan Women Leave Risky Work Behind

USAID, Peace Corps Help Kenyan Women Leave Risky Work Behind
Source: USAID (FrontLines-April 2009)
Writer: Kim Wylie
The following are direct quotes from the article:

*USAID started the project in East Africa in 2005 and aims to reduce the spread and impact of HIV/AIDS in towns along major transport routes. These towns have high rates of commercial sex work and multiple sexual partners, and, consequently, high rates of HIV.

*As many as 80 percent of women in these communities have turned to sex work, including with truck drivers, because few opportunities exist for other kinds of work

*The LifeWorks Partnership Trust, one component of ROADS, supports alternative jobs that help women earn money. LifeWorks Shukrani Ltd., for example, is a company that produces shawls, placemats, napkins, table runners, and tote bags. It employs 21 Kenyan women.

*The stories of the Shukrani workers appeal to socially-conscious buyers who are able to put dollars into the pockets of the most vulnerable in these communities—women and older orphans.

*Shukrani’s workers earn a fair daily wage and don’t have to engage in risky survival strategies to care for themselves or their families. “And we’re giving women access to health benefits and insurance and supporting them to open their own private bank accounts,” Domenico added.

*Seamstress Wanjiku (a pseudonym), 22, who was orphaned at 16, said: “This project recruits people who are hopeless in life and kind of gives them a safe haven. They can meet their basic needs and there’s no reason to go back to the road” to sex work.

Click here to read the full article.

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