“When I trained as a Grade1 draper, my drive and passion was towards self-employment. I then met my husband Samuel Kariuki, then a saw miller in the village, and our union was blessed with two boys. I soon realised that my tailoring would not yield the satisfaction I was looking for. At the same time, felt that I went on to tea picking like everybody else did and delivering my produce to the Chinga Tea Factory. Soon I found that I easily built relationships with the management of the tea factory allowing me to volunteer in many of the social activities organized.
When Farmer Field Schools were held in my village, I attended them enthusiastically. Here I learnt skills like crop production and tending to tea, keeping livestock and so on. But it was the introduction to the energy efficient stoves as a business that really changed my view of work.
WEEK Project staff taught me how to install energy efficient stoves in homes in the region. I got conversant with the types of stoves I could install and even sell to the residents in my locality. The tea factory imposed a rebate to each of its clients who had installed the energy efficient stoves and components of its environment programme thus encouraging members to request for the products. This created an opportunity for us as promoters of the initiative and our commissions made good business sense for me.
I envision that one day I will be able to distribute my many more stoves on my own in the region. I have also been trained on briquettes making and I am hoping to acquire the machine to start production. This has been as a result of my involvement in the WEEK Project activities for which I am totally grateful. I am happy distributing good health, clean air and greener environment through my business.”