Sustainable Development for All-Kenya: Promoting sustainable practices and women’s economic empowerment in rural Kenya

Winner of the Princess Sabeeka Bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa Global Award for Women's Empowerment in the Civil Society category.

Date: Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Rural women receive solar lanterns as part of an economic empowerment programme in Kenya. Photo: Courtesy of SDFA-Kenya.

Launched in 2018 by the Supreme Council for Women of Bahrain in partnership with UN Women, the Princess Sabeeka Bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa Global Award for Women's Empowerment aims to celebrate and recognize the achievements of champions of women's equality and women’s empowerment globally.

Sustainable Development for All-Kenya (SDFA-Kenya) is a non-profit social enterprise operating in Sub Saharan Africa with an aim to help underprivileged communities attain sustainable development, and in turn live better lives, through initiatives that originate from communities themselves. SDFA-Kenya was awarded the 2018 Princess Sabeeka Bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa Global Award for Women's Empowerment, in the Civil Society category for their work on women’s economic empowerment.

In many traditional African communities, women are tasked with being custodians of the home, responsible for activities in managing the needs of the household and enjoy less exposure to the world beyond their communities. Often, they are fully dependent on the males in the family for economic support. SDFA-Kenya works to provide women and girls with the knowledge, skills, and tools to help them better participate in the economic development of their households and communities.

Through their work, SDFA-Kenya supplies women with sustainable and environmentally friendly tools such as solar lanterns or biogas stoves to replace traditional devices which are more costly and pollute the air.

Thanks to these supplies, women are not only able to use renewable resources, but also save time and capital which are invested into expanding their knowledge and supporting them to acquire new skills. Through the programme, women create income-generating ventures, giving them the ability to add their voice in the major decisions affecting them both at the household and at community level.

“Women and girls are invaluable; they hold the key to today’s and tomorrow’s prosperity, and they should not let anything neither religion nor traditions; prevent them from achieving what they want. It is only in believing that they are the present and the future, that they make a big difference. Stay strong, stay committed to your course and the world will see you,” said Kennedy Akunda, Administrator and Projects Officer at SDFA-Kenya.

The Global Award for Women’s Empowerment has presented the organization with an opportunity to expand its work on women’s empowerment thanks to the funds received, the recognition obtained and the access to new networks.

Since receiving the award, SDFA-Kenya has created two community empowerment centers in Kakamega and Makueni districts in Kenya to give a platform for women and girls from those rural communities to access skills and knowledge to help them create and launch successful income-generating initiatives.

SDFA-Kenya is now partnering with and other organizations to provide women with equipment and the necessary skills to set up beekeeping businesses and to access a ready market for the produce. This initiative will target over 100 women contributing to ensure that no woman or girl in the community is left behind.