In commemoration of the 2022 International Women’s Day, Isuzu Kenya and Kenya Community Development Fund joined hands to celebrate two years of the Kenya Lionesses Arise Isuzu CSR Project where all participants received a certificate for achieving this milestone.
This part of the project, also facilitated by KCDF, focused on the second phase which imparted comprehensive business skills to about 30 players who have consistently participated in the program.
KRU Chairman Oduor Gangla graced the occasion alongside the Ag. CEO Thomas Odundo, Director Peris Mukoko, KRU’s Commercial Consultant Aggrey Wabulwenyi and KRU’s Development Coordinator Ronald Okoth. Speaking during the event, Mr. Oduor recounted the Lionesses’ successes in previous years. “By virtue of them going to the Olympics, they are the currently ranked first when it comes to sevens and second when it comes to the fifteens version of the game.
In the course of last year, we managed to separate the two teams which meant more growth for them and when you look at this year’s calendar, we have the Africa Cup 7s in Tunis, Rugby Africa Women’s Cup in Uganda, the commonwealth games in Birmingham and the Qualifiers for the World Sevens Series in Chile in August before wrapping up the activities with the RWC 7s in Cape Town come September,”
“Women’s Rugby in the country is still growing, today we have about 16 women rugby clubs and slightly over 1,000 players and this is a big improvement from where we were at four years ago,” he added.
He went ahead to list the following Sustainable Development Goals where women’s rugby plays a critical role:
1. No poverty
2. Zero hunger
3. Good health and well being
4. Quality Education
5. Gender equality
8. Decent work and economic growth
9. Industry innovation and infrastructure
10. Reduced inequality
11. Sustainable cities and communities
12. Responsible consumption and production
17. Partnerships for the goals.
This Lionesses Arise Isuzu program has had a profound impact on our ladies. We have a number of players present who’ve learnt business skills that have helped them in more ways than one. In the whole set up, we have Mercy Migongo running a beauty shop, we have Sarah Oluche operating an online business shop, Sheila Chajira is into chicken rearing and water sales. Everlyne Kalemera is crocheting and there’s Emmaculate Awuor running the furniture business.
So we have a great spread of different ladies doing different things and making an impact in the community by creating employment and ensuring that the benefit of this training trickles down to other people as well. I have found the biggest impact of this program has been building the self esteem of the ladies,” he concluded.
The KCDF Executive Director, Grace Maingi, took to the stage to congratulate the ladies on this milestone. She then gave a brief breakdown of what it took to ensure the Lionesses were able to set and achieve their goals.
“Through this program, KCDF and Isuzu have ensured that the Lionesses have sustainable livelihoods beyond rugby. Before kicking off the program, we did a needs assessment on what they Ladies needed from us, both individually and collectively and then through that, we developed a three phase program.”
“The first phase was personal development skills, we wanted to increase self awareness, confidence, communication skills so that they could leverage a network they make and build long term relationships not only for themselves but also for their businesses.”
“The second phase, we looked at business development skills. We focused on how they present themselves at work as well as how to upscale the businesses for those who wanted to be entrepreneurs. We helped them identify the opportunities that were there for them to improve their livelihoods, helped them nurture basic business development and management skills which is very important and also in terms of strengthening the networks of strong women who support each other. They’ve learnt that they can actually invest in each others businesses.”
The KCDF team ensured the Lionesses left the program with better saving skills and a budgeting culture, they addressed personal grooming: helping the Lionesses realize that they are an external brand. They ensured the Lionesses are able to take feedback positively, this helped in dealing with cohesion within the team.
The Lionesses were also trained how to pitch and market their businesses on social media so as to reach a wider community.
“The third phase focuses on business financing that provides loans with favourable interest rates. KCDF has committed itself to finance the players and will give them flexible payment timelines and enhancing their business growths and turning their business ideas into fully functional businesses. In this phase, the Lionesses have formed two functional social accountability groups.
These groups have constitutions that guide members on their common goal in business and they are set to receive their first loans from mid-March 2022,” concluded Director Grace