Feris, 25, graduated from Seed of Hope, Nairobi, in 2005 after being enrolled in the second intake of students. She now runs a successful business which supports her and her family.
Here is her story….
“I finished primary school class eight in 2003. I was staying at home in Kibweni (Eastern Province) doing nothing as my family had no money to take me to secondary school.
I learned about Seed of Hope from my sister who was introduced to it by the father of one of the students as he worked there. My hope had been to get employed so that I could get money that would help me get training in sewing and dressmaking. Near our home, a friend of mine was doing dressmaking and was doing well in life. My mother had no money to educate me so I was thinking where I could get money for any training. I am the third from last of ten children and only one of my older siblings went to secondary school.
When I came to Seed of Hope on the first day we were introduced to what they were doing and then I was taken to class. The people were nice. We started with dressmaking and business planning. I liked dressmaking so much. I gained knowledge of dressmaking and business plans, learned how I could start my business. At first when I came, I made friends. Teachers were our friends and they taught us well. They explained to us what we can do in our lives. I didn’t enjoy crafts but I enjoyed dressmaking.
When we left they helped us with a machine and told us how we can start our business. Teacher Gitau used to come to our business to see how we were doing and encouraged us much to do our business and if we didn’t know anything we could go and ask Teacher Florence. She could then explain to us.
I worked together with Rosabella (another Seed of Hope graduate) for one year in Kibera. I saved capital to start on my own. I had to save cash to buy fabrics and pay rent. I then stayed on my own in Kibera for one year. When I started the business I was able to talk with friends and when I made dresses for them they would tell someone else and introduce me.
In 2008 I got married and moved to another area and started a new business which is now good. After I moved here it was difficult, I had no customers so started small. I made a few dresses as samples but it was hard for a few months. I didn’t give up because I like my business. It helps me in my life. It helps me to help my family and it builds me more. I now stay with my younger brother since both my parents passed away. I’m helping to pay for him to do driving school.
Money that I make is for me. If I was employed I could be given little. If I have problems with my house or my child I can help but if I was employed I would have to borrow permission to get time off.
In the future I’m planning that when this business is firm I can open another and employ people to help me. I’ve trained two girls. They paid for training and I also give them work when I am busy.
Seed of Hope helped me so much. It gave me knowledge that helps me stand on my own. It makes me help my family. It takes me from far.
I give thanks to those at Seed of Hope because they helped me. They built my life so I say thanks to them.”
If you would like to help a girl like Feris gain the skills to stand on their own, visit our main website to find out about our sponsorship programme.