Kuya Kwile

60.5% of the Zambian population is considered “poor” with widowed women and orphaned children constituting 80% of this group. Often times, these widows become the sole providers for a household overnight are left vulnerable without tangible skills and limited educational experiences to provide for their families effectively.

We aim to empower vulnerable women through skilled-based training and entrepreneurial development focused on knitting skills, product development, and sales. We will provide access to mechanical knitters, crochet hooks, and high-quality yarn for women to produce a minimum of 200 knitted/crocheted items per month to be sold through Kuya Kwile, a social enterprise program, which will then reinvest the profits into the training program to empower more women.

A pilot program to assess the feasibility of the idea was conducted in 2012 resulting in the online sales of approximately 100 scarves in one week, resulting in a total gross profit of K10,000 (+/-US$2000). Moving forward, referring to the lessons learned from the pilot program, I have formalized the pilot project into a longer-term program, and have placed a new, strengthened admin team to support production and sales.

The existing program has already provided the women with a tangible skill. The addition of the social enterprise framework allows for additional skills development in team building and business development thus providing a foundation for future financial sustainability.

Financé par Lusaka (February 2015)