Sports Culture and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed launched Ushanga initiative to benefit women in West Pokot.
The initiative set to benefit three thousand five hundred women will create a channel where trainers on beadwork are dispatched to the grassroots.
The CS while on tour of the region said that the Ushanga Initiative had already empowered women from several other counties in purchasing beads and machines, adding that the training will enable women to make quality beads faster which will have international appeal attracting tourists.
“We are going to market Ushanga Initiative products to both the local and international markets to help empower women from pastoral communities for them to improve their livelihoods,” said Ms Amina.
The CS said that the Ushanga Kenya Initiative is a National Government flagship project to empower pastoralist women involved in beadwork by transforming their traditional art into tradable commodities for significant economic benefit and sustainable livelihoods
The project is being implemented in seven counties, namely; Samburu, Kajiado, Narok, West Pokot, Turkana, Baringo and Marsabit in a frame of five years so that women can benefit economically from their handiwork.
According to Amina, the government will support women by adding value to the products for them to be identified as national talent.
“Women have been trained on how to add value to the products by equipping them with the relevant skills needed to transform bead making into a lucrative business for them to earn a living,” she said.
She further explained that the beadwork which has been a long time traditional activity will be transformed into a commercial business that will transform the lives of pastoral women who take up bead making.
The CS in addition said that women if empowered, are catalysts for societal transformation.
Amina who also visited the Kapenguria Museum to check on its status, however, said that West Pokot is still among the top in producing the best athletes and that the government will ensure that young talents are tapped.
Pauline Loyara, Lucia Sorori the beneficiaries of the initiative in West Pokot cited that the government intervention in training them is a turn around for quality competitive beadwork from the North rift region and that their biggest challenge was to access better markets as the majority of the women depend on the art to earn a living.