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Two foreign firms partner to help widows start businesses

In Summary

  • DB Schenker and Burn Manufacturing aim to assist widows throughout the country.
  • The two already have vibrant projects in the country.

Two foreign companies have joined hands to facilitate widows across the country start income-generating activities.

In a programme that will see registered groups of widows facilitated to increase their daily and monthly earnings, DB Schenker, a global logistics and supply chain management firm, and BURN Manufacturing, the makers of Jikokoa, will provide tools necessary for commencement of small businesses.

Speaking after handing over 80 commercial cookstoves to Muungano Wa Wajane women’s group, Thomas Ruelke, the Chief Commercial Officer, DB Schenker Middle East & Africa said the initiative will see registered widows receive business startup tools.

Ruelke termed the partnership with BURN as a “true reflection of part of DB Schenker’s purpose of advancing businesses and lives by helping better their incomes for stability.”

Widow Entrepreneurs

According to Paul Muthua, the BURN’s quality assurance manager, the Jikokoa Pro commercial stove will enable the women entrepreneurs to save over KSh4,000 monthly through reduced fuel costs. They will also enjoy improved health benefits.

Indoor pollution is one of the biggest causes of death in Africa. An estimated 500,000 people die annually from respiratory diseases related to indoor cooking pollution. Muthua says adoption of clean cooking stoves offers more environmentally friendly and sustainable cooking alternatives to vulnerable groups such as widows.

Bertha Gaitho, the founder and chairperson of Muungano wa Wajane community-based organization which has over 500 groups in 16 counties urged the government to enact policies that will protect the social-economic well being of all widows. She said most of them suffer abuse at the hands of in-laws, even disinherited property.

Clean Stoves

Manufactured in Kenya, BURN’s clean cookstoves reduce fuel use by more than half
compared to traditional cooking methods, such as open fires.

The company has sold more than 1 million stoves in Africa, impacting the lives of more than six million individuals.

With a solar-powered facility that employs more than 400 people—60% of whom are women—the company has saved more than 4.5 million tons of wood and significantly reduced carbon dioxide emissions while helping users save millions of shillings in reduced fuel costs.

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