Empowering women in Kenya by putting community ideas into action
Dzarino CBO is a capacity-building organization that works with grass root communities. One of its primary aims is the social and economic empowerment of communities with women and youth as the main beneficiaries. As a membership organization, it recruits community-based groups with a mission to build their capacity. The organization was founded in the year 2000 and registered as a community-based organization in 2003 with the ministry of culture and social services.
The Dzarino motto is derived from the methodology of capacity building adopted by the organization in which it listens to the needs of the community by working with them so as to facilitate them identify their own needs and providing tailored programs to each group.
The word Dzarino means “What about our ideas?” in Mijikenda. Mijikenda is a Bantu dialect spoken on the east coast of Kenya.
This name was chosen when, after several interactions with the local communities, it became clear that the members of the communities have many ideas on how they could improve their lives and create a sustainable living, but do not know how to implement them.
To ensure that the indigenous community especially the women and youth own their development
To empower the community through training and capacity building so as to improve their social economic status.
“Listening to the voices of people”
Among the many services, we provide:
Assistance by offering suggestions with creating plans for ideas generated
Training to use tools and technologies to support ideas
Networking for mentorship and support
Resources for fundraising and support
In the coastal communities, women are responsible for their households and taking care of the family. They look for food to feed everyone, look for firewood for cooking and generally ensure that all members in the house are fit to undertake their duties and obligations. The women are also required to teach and inspire their children. The men hold the ultimate decision power and must approve the women’s needs. Whatever income is earned in a household must first cater to what the man requires before any other requirement. This state of affairs has been and continues to bedevil the coastal communities to this date. With its continued interaction with the women in the community, Dzarino has shown the women how they ought to conduct themselves and act while maintaining the cultural values they have held all along.
Women’s groups (Chamas) plan a key role in these communities. In these groups, women collectively learn how to do things that benefit themselves and their families. The groups provide mutual support and financial help through savings and loan activities. In their interaction, Dzarino works to strengthen the group members through their groups through training and ongoing mentoring
Communities want to see improvements in the health and nutritional status of their people through better healthcare services and nutrition programs. In society, women are the ones responsible for the health of their families. Women use the chamas to develop individual and small group businesses to help feed their families, keep their children in school, and ensure that their families remain healthy at all times. Through training, Dzarino helps the group members learn about business management and marketing skills
It is common knowledge that the youth, comprising mainly school leavers and students, experience poverty and unemployment and become vulnerable to negative influences such as drug abuse and alcohol use. Also, people with disabilities want to know their rights and be self-sufficient and able to earn their living. Since the youth and such persons with disabilities are part of households, their welfare is the sole responsibility of the women. As such, in their planning, the women must take all into consideration and ensure that their needs are met and everyone grows to be a responsible member of society. Dzarino has always developed its services in response to grass-roots needs identified by communities.
All of Dzarino’s products and services can be said to be geared toward women, with a special emphasis on the coast of Kenya.
After living with the indigenous people and studying the culture of the people while working with them and especially understanding the role of women in society, Dzarino tailored its training and programs to suit women and their needs.
Dzarino has been involved in the following programs among other activities:
- Program implementation
- Training of peer educators
- Training of OVC caregivers and empowering them using income generating activities
- Public health issues at the community level
- Gender-based violence (GBV) advocacy and awareness
- Civic education and constitutional rights
- Running of nursery schools
Through its qualified and experienced members, Dzarino undertakes several consultancy assignments outsourced to them for organizations that may lack the requisite skills. Consultancies are one way of ensuring that the organization remains sustainable. Our consultancies in the past have included the following:
- Microenterprise and finance training and management
- Business development & management
- Project proposal writing
- Strategic planning
- Gender issues
- Civil rights advocacy
- Community mobilization
- Capacity-building of small-scale farmers
- Help in group formation, training, and linking groups to various institutions
- Waste management training
Beneficiaries of Dzarino’s services will have the skills and knowledge to improve their lives and the lives of their families. We focus on services for women and their families, the youth, and people with disabilities.
- Chamas (groups) will receive training in managing their finances, including savings and loan projects such as table-banking
- Chamas will receive training in skills necessary to sustain their groups, such as leadership skills, chairing meetings, keeping minutes, roles and responsibilities.
- Chama members will receive mentoring in setting up and sustaining individual and/or group small businesses.
- Parents and children will have improved access to quality primary education through the expansion of our Early Childhood Development project.
- Youth will have access to training and employment opportunities through partnerships developed with government and businesses (Community Social Responsibility).
- Women and girls will receive training and material support on issues of women’s health, family planning, menstrual hygiene and disease prevention.
- We will raise awareness among women and men about the problem of domestic abuse and violence.
Communities in the coastal regions will provide a decent quality of life and hope for the future for all residents.
- Communities will have greater access to primary health care through the expansion of our Medical Camps project to more communities, more frequently.
- We will work with identified communities to advocate with the Ministry of Health for improved health services including provision of medication, clinics with clean water and electricity, training for community health workers, etc.
- Community safety issues will be addressed through support for community mobilization efforts to identify and plan solutions to crime and disturbance of peace.
- Youth in communities will be supported to develop self -help groups (chamas) to identify and act on their concerns, through provision of training and mentoring.
- We will address climate change by working with communities to identify environmental impacts, and support community action on solutions, such as bore-hole drilling, crop diversification, etc.
groups as members
people in the community impacted
Salama, who is a member of Dzarino CBO watches proudly as her dream house begins to take shape. All she’s ever wanted!
This is all attributable to the microfinance/table banking project (Ndalago).
She has always been living in rented premises but can now heave a sigh of relief knowing that she will soon be able to direct the money she has used as rent towards her business.
Mesalim has always wanted to make the best of her son’s education as a way of stopping him from being idle and engaging in undesirable activities with other village boys in Mshiu where she lives.
In order to do this, Mesalim used her membership and opportunity in the Dzarino microfinance project to take loans and help her son Rashid who had trained as a mechanic, establish his own garage for business purposes.
Here we can see Rashid busy at work in his garage outside his recently-built house. The member through the microfinance project also managed to complete educating her son to a higher diploma level.
Not very long ago Florence, who is a member of Dzarino CBO and works as a house help, managed to buy land in Malanga (Kilifi North), built a house for her husband who has no job, and her two grown sons and has relocated from Kadzinuni (Kilifi South) with her family where they used to live to Malanga which they now call their very own home.
With the table banking loans she took from the Dzarino microfinance project, she managed to pull water to their premises and put a tap just outside their house thus giving them free-flowing water 24 hours a day. Florence has also installed solar lights for their lighting needs while waiting for the Government’s rural electrification program to reach them. Just next to her house, she has space where she tills and grows crops during the rainy season.
Dzarino Members’ target is to use their business profits to put up residential premises for themselves so as to sustain their livelihoods and grow their businesses.
The Dzarino microfinance project (Ndalago) has played a huge role in financing these ventures
Mamake Hamisi has been a member of Dzarino CBO since its inception. She is part of Dzarino’s Ndalago group which runs the table banking project. Her husband is a polygamist and has more than two wives.
Using the proceeds from the loans she takes; she has had her house transformed from a mud house to a semi-permanent brick house.
Here we see her supervising the building of walls by locally contracted masons skilled in this vocation.
Elvina M. Mutua
Chairman of Dzarino CBO
Management Committee Members
Secretary and Coordinator of Dzarino CBO
Victoria is a lawyer by profession with an interest in socio-economic rights. She has a wealth of experience in working to ensure that her clients’ rights are well protected. She has worked as a legal advisor for Kituo Cha Sheria in Mombasa which is a legal advice centre. Her passion to work with the community began when she was working as a Program Manager for the Federation of Women Lawyers. She has served as a Chairperson of the Board of Directors for SOLWODI in Mombasa which is an organization dealing with women in distress. She is also the co-founder of the Centre for Water Governance (CWG) which is a local NGO.
Chairlady of the Management Committee
Joyce Musyoka has a diploma in Health Management. He has worked extensively with both the Government and Private sector hospitals and other medical institutions for over 30 years. On retirement, she decided to offer her time and skills to the community development sector by taking healthcare to underprivileged communities. Her work and effort have seen Dzarino taking healthcare services to many areas through medical camps.
Member Management Committee
Lucy Kafusi was born in Wundanyi, Taita-Taveta County. She is a banker by profession who retired recently.
Lucy is a former trustee of Tumaini Children’s Home Bamburi, a home that took care of orphans and children suffering from HIV and Aids. Lucy’s role in the home was to coach and mentor young girls as she is passionate about empowering the girl-child. She is the Chairlady of Mtepeni Secondary School in Kilifi County where she and her team have instilled education values to the locals and have grown the number of students in the school from 89 to over 500 last year over a period of four years.
Lucy is also a trustee of the North Coast Medical School in Kilifi County as well as the Montessori School in Vipingo, Kilifi County where she coaches and mentors students. Lucy currently does farming and empowers the local women on the grass roots by supporting them with seeds during the planting season
Member Management Committee
Pauline Ikumi is a Social Safeguard/RAP/Gender expert having taken her studies in India and attended several other trainings. With her experience spanning over 20 years in development projects, she has gained extensive coverage in working with different communities in Kenya implementing and supervising donor-funded and local projects in the Roads, Water, and Agriculture sectors. She currently chairs the Board of Kenya Water for Health Organization, a Kenyan non-governmental organization for water and sanitation
Member Management Committee
Judith Peshu is a health sector professional having worked as a senior clinical research associate. She has over 16 years of experience during which she has conducted clinical trials as a research nurse and worked as a study coordinator, finally becoming a clinical research associate. Judith is also a clinical research facilitator and continues to be a trainer of clinical research monitors. Having undertaken her training and being registered in community health nursing, Judith has extensive experience in working with the local community. She has worked in different therapeutic areas and gained extensive experience in conducting onsite, remote, and central monitoring of both adults and children.
Member Management Committee
Boniface Makumbi is a seasoned financial sector consultant specializing in Corporate Retail and MSME financial services. Boniface has extensive corporate employment and consulting services experience working locally and internationally with financial institutions, financial sector regulators and international development agencies.
Member Management Committee
Dr. Humphrey Musyoka is currently the head of Business development and operations at Quillion group Africa (QGA), a financial and Infrastructure firm that pairs projects to financiers from concept to completion.
In addition, he volunteers in local medical facilities to provide outpatient medical consultations and emergency surgeries when called upon in various facilities in Mombasa and Kilifi Counties in Kenya. Dr. Musyoka has served as the Medical superintendent with the Government of Kenya in the southern coast of Kenya at Kwale District Hospital for a number of years both in administrative and medical duties in the hospital.
He has also worked as a medical Doctor at the world’s largest refugee camp situated in Dadaab, northeastern Kenya, with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) at the Hagadera camp providing emergency medical management in a humanitarian crisis area and served as the Coast Regional Manager for the Meridian group of clinics that runs 22 outpatient clinics and 4 hospitals all over Kenya.
Member Management Committee
Executive Committee Members
Chairlady Executive Committee and Coordinator
Program Officer Health
Program Officer Economic Empowerment
Program Officer Marketing and Mobilization
Program Officer Finance