When she lost in the 2022 general elections, Ms. Damaris Njoki, knew that her journey to a better future had just begun.
Friends and allies deserted her as she tried to pick up her pieces and forge ahead. The Rhonda Ward resident had dreamt of a five-year term of representing her ward mates, however, that never came to be and she thought that rerouting to community service was equally important.
The 41-year-old woman decided to join a forum, The Smart People with Disability, an organization she felt would help support women just like her, to have a footing in society and earn a living.
“When I failed to get the seat, people around me started distancing themselves from me so I decided instead of just sitting alone and feeling lonely, I would rather just look for something to at least keep me busy,” Njoki added
Empowering women in the society is very important, she says, noting that living with a disability was not a hindrance to implementing brilliant ideas that most of her colleagues have.
KNA met her attending to a number of customers visiting her display stand during the recent County Cultural week celebrations being held at Nakuru’s Nyayo Gardens.
“I am glad to have been privileged to attend the celebrations as a representative of two organizations which is the Women Empowerment and the Smart People with Disability,” says Njoki.
“Showcasing our wares that we make while supporting each other morally and financially is my joy as a representative of both groups,” she adds.
Women Empowerment organization deals with ensuring that women in the society are empowered through being taught bead work and crocheting skills to make different commodities like door mats, bangles, earrings, plastic flowers, flower vessels and door mats.
Smart People with Disability is an organization started with the aim of encouraging the people with disability to use their different God given talents in a smart way so that they are able to cater for their needs without having to ask for help from other people.
“I started this work to also encourage others that they should not just sit around idling. They should know there are many different jobs one can engage themselves in as self-employment which will earn them a living,” Njoki said.
The beaded mats seem to have attracted more customers for the group, with Njoki noting that they are receiving constant orders for their products. She is certain that her group members, who are working on the orders at the comfort of their homes, will deliver in time.
By Anne Sabuni and Branice Amunga