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Womens Group
Kikoy Knotting Womens Group
Kikoys lovingly knotted with care!
Womens Self Help Group
Kikoy Women/s GroupThe knotting of the Kikoys is traditionally done by hand. We decided that this would a good opportunity to form a group to provide work for women in poverty who otherwise have little means by which to support themselves and their families. It is accepted that rural women contribute 90% of their income to the family, as opposed to rural men who return as little as 40%. Taking this research from Women’s World Banking (WWB) we were encouraged to initiate our group.

Reference: Women’s World Banking

In excerpts from the Report of the UN Expert Group on Women and Finance, chaired by the WWB we learned that: “Around the world, women's economic positions are adversely affected by their lack of access to productive resources. A woman's economic position directly affects her ability to purchase needed improvements in health, housing and education. Women manage household finances in most of the developing world. As more cash and assets get into the hands of women, most of these earnings get into the mouths, medicine and schoolbooks of their children. Increasingly, women head many households, de facto or de jure, relying on the woman's earnings as the main or sole source of income for the family. Women tend to be honest, practical and reliable. Low income women have heavy productive and reproductive roles, which keeps many in very small businesses.”

This fuelled our desire to empower a number of women in our region by offering them this work. The advantage of working for The Kikoy Company for our group of women is that they are able to carry their work with them, they can knot the Kikoys at their homes whilst caring for their families. Each woman collects Kikoys and returns them within their daily routines, we pay for each piece completed and they have no other demands. We are delighted that our group has grown to sixteen women, with over 30 children between them. Some have other employment and do this work in their spare time, and others count on this occupation as their sole income.

The Kikoy Company is proud to have initiated this group and are very pleased to pay each women their entitlement every time they complete their quota of Kikoys. The work is simple and demands only patience and dexterity, and therefore there is no added burden for these women. Our group has grown from the initial few that started with us and they get together at our storehouse for tea and to exchange gossip. This employment has now become a way of life for the Kikoy Group and the women often tell us how ‘happy’ they are with the enterprise.

The head of the Group, Rosemary Injete, herself a single mother with two children, supervises the others as they come and go and continual contact is maintained. If there is an emergency, or a problem the women now have somewhere they can turn to for a loan, or for help with hospital bills. We keep in touch and ensure their welfare, stories of good luck and success abound. Rosemary herself has, since the inception of Kikoy, increased her income twofold and can now buy small luxuries for her children. This small but steady income has transformed the lives of the members of our group and we are delighted that we made this decision as against the common practice of using ‘sweat’ shops where the workers are poorly paid for time intensive labour. In turn our empowered group of women has enabled The Kikoy Company to be able to supply Kikoys of quality that have truly been lovingly knotted with care!
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