Photo of the Week: Girls on the Move

October 10, 2014

Equipped with business skills and entrepreneurial zeal, Ann Kalekye and other young women from Nairobi’s slums are shaping their own economic futures.

At 21, Ann Kalekye is a driven and versatile entrepreneur. Growing up in Mukuru slum in Nairobi, Kenya, Ann was eager to help her single mother transform their family’s future. In 2013, she joined TechnoServe’s Young Women in Enterprise (YWE) program and learned entrepreneurial skills and financial literacy, which she applied to a series of business ventures, always looking to diversify her income.

At the same time, Ann teamed up with other young women in her community, including several YWE alumni, to form a community based organization (CBO) called Sisters of Great Vision. The CBO model is part of a new TechnoServe program called Girls on the Move, which builds on the success of Young Women in Enterprise to create a network of empowered girls who are engaging in safe and productive economic opportunities. Girls on the Move aims to expand the YWE model to new areas and target younger girls who are out of school and most vulnerable to hardships such as violence, sexual exploitation and HIV/AIDS.

Today, Ann is a trainer at Sisters of Great Vision, mentoring adolescent girls aged 14 to 19 in life skills and entrepreneurship. She’s a role model they can look up to. Last year, TechnoServe connected her with Sanergy, an innovative company creating sustainable sanitation solutions for urban slums. She used savings from her second-hand clothing business to put a deposit down on two Fresh Life units and secured a Kiva loan to pay the rest. Her units provide hygienic and affordable sanitation for her community, and the waste is then converted to organic fertilizer. In August, Ann successfully paid off her loan, and her new income is allowing her to pursue a course in business administration while also helping put her three younger brothers through school.

Tomorrow is International Day of the Girl Child, and we salute young women like Ann who are shaping their own futures and empowering other girls in their communities.

Help us reach even more vulnerable adolescent girls. Make a gift today and double your impact! Our board will match every dollar you donate through November 30. Join us in investing in the next generation of women leaders.

 

Related Blog Posts

 

Technical Solutions for Food Security in Africa

Technical Solutions for Food Security in Africa

The Technical Assistance Facility helps agricultural and food processing businesses to fight food insecurity by improving operations and extending their reach to poor consumers.

Creating Coffee Livelihoods: On the Family Farm and Beyond

Creating Coffee Livelihoods: On the Family Farm and Beyond

As the Sustainable Agricultural Improvement (MAS) project comes to a close in Honduras, we take a look at how the project helped one coffee farming family to build a strong farming business and promising career opportunities throughout the value chain.

Rut & Hirut: One Woman’s Dream to Improve her Community Through an Improved Dairy Value Chain

Rut & Hirut: One Woman’s Dream to Improve her Community Through an Improved Dairy Value Chain

When Hirut Yohannes Darare opened her dairy processing company, she aimed not only to provide for her family, but also to improve the lives of dairy farmers in her community and across Ethiopia.