Esther Nyambura Waithaka is one of the seamstresses in our Enkiteng Program in Nyeri. She joined in summer 2012 and started learning how to sew by making Enkiteng bags (cloth gift wrapping bags) using donated fabric. She has now graduated to making the Enkiteng bags out of Kitenge fabric, as well as new products such as Kitenge knapsacks, headbands and scrunchies and kitenge-burlap wine bags. She will also be one of the first seamstresses learning how to make new products such as school uniforms and other products that they will be selling in Kenya, becoming independent seamstresses.
Esther lives in Nyeri, Kenya with her husband and 3 kids. Esther was not encouraged to finish high school or attend university. Though she had trouble paying for her own high school education, she was lucky enough to have a family member to help her. Now, she hopes to help her 3 children pay for their school fees up to university level.
She has spent much of her adult life working as a housewife, and did not have the confidence to enter the workplace. Since joining the Seeds to Sew program while gaining business skills, she plans to continue to farm and sell vegetables until she has enough money to open up her own general store.
Ester cares for four children and hopes to save enough money to buy a home large enough for her family to live comfortably.
When asked what she would like to change about her community, she says: “I would create a few jobs so the idle people can have something to do and help themselves.” When asked how has her life changed as a direct result of the Enkiteng program, she responded: “Before I joined the Enkiteng Program, we used to go hungry because we didn’t have money for food but now we are able to buy food and also we don’t have difficulties in paying the school fees for our children.”
“Thank you very much, the Enkiteng Program has really improved our lives for better and I wish Seeds to Sew well as it continues to change and improve the lives of women.”
~ Esther Nyambura Waithaka