Jane Wangui Ndirangu is one of the seamstresses in our Enkiteng Program in Nyeri. She joined in summer 2012 and started learning how to sew by making Enkiteng bags (cloth gift wrapping bags) using donated fabric. She has now graduated to making the Enkiteng bags out of Kitenge fabric, as well as new products such as Kitenge knapsacks, headbands and scrunchies and kitenge-burlap wine bags. She will also be one of the first seamstresses learning how to make new products such as school uniforms and other products that they will be selling in Kenya, becoming independent seamstresses.
Jane grew up in Nyeri where she still lives with her husband and their 3 sons. She also helps feed 5 other children in her community.
She graduated High School and hopes that her sons are able to study up to university level. In addition to the income from the Enkiteng program, she has a small business selling produce, and is hoping to grow her business, and start a tailoring business as well to ensure that her family continues to have a good quality of life.
She would like to have a big farm where she could raise livestock, and help build a better house than the one they live in right now. Her dream is to have a business – running a green grocer shop. When asked what would she like to change about her community, she said: “Most of the people in my community are idle, and this leads them to taking alcohol, what I would like to change is to be an alcohol free community.”
Prior to joining the Enkiteng program and learning how to sew, she worked primarily as a housewife and farmed/sold vegetables to make a living. Since she has joined the Enkiteng program, her life has changed because she has been able to afford to send her children to school. Over the past few years, she stated, that she has seen her life improve because of the program, and her overall outlook on life has improved.