August 2018 -The Kenya Rural Women and Media Project 2018 is now rolling out, IAWRT Kenya, has begun inducting a women’s group in Western Kenya.
The pilot project is the first backed by the IAWRT Rural Women and Media committee as is being conducted with the Blue Light Star Women’s Group, based in Ndivisi village, in Bungoma County, Kenya.
Blue Light Star Women’s group is a highly respected grassroots organbisation because of its success with savings and credit cooperatives, dairy and poultry projects and more recently, branching into establishing a common market for their products to increase income for the participating women by cutting out the middle men. This was also an aspect of how mobile phones empowered rural women in India noted in IAWRT sponsored research by Dr. Mausumi Bhattacharyya.
The Blue Light Star Women’s Group were found to be yearning for a platform to share their success stories, which could inspire others in Kenya to engage in similar activities to better the quality of their lives.
The IAWRT Kenya chapter lead by Chair, Josephine Karani, and members including Racheal Nakitare (pictured in Ndivisi) is facilitating the project to equip the group with smart phones, and provide coordination, training, internet access and the skills to engage on both traditional and social media.
The use of media and social communication platforms aims to strengthen the Blue Light Star Women’s Group’s ability to engage in their socio-economic activities and amplify their voices, including if they wish to lobby on issues they consider to be important.
Embracing the use of technology for economic and social and political development also has a practical side as the women want to begin to be able to access and navigate Kenya’s E-government services which allow online applications for government identification, passports, driver’s license, and other services.