Guest article by Nicole Belenky, Lively Bunch member since 2014.
Hats off to all the hard working sales agents at LivelyHoods! They gave me one of my most memorable days on my recent trip to Kenya. In April 2016, as a monthly donor, I had the great fortune of visiting the home office of LivelyHoods in Nairobi and shadowing a sales agent through the slums of Kawangware.
This is an impressive operation with very effective management, hardworking staff and determined and motivated sales agents. The director, Tania Laden, took me to the home office, situated next to a LivelyHoods store and near one of the slums where agents work. The staff is dedicated to running a successful operation with a training program designed to train and encourage the newcomer as well as motivate the more experienced agent.
I sat in on a training session where agents shared successful strategies with one another and also gave their peers words of advice when needed. After the training session, I wanted to join a sales agent as he walked the alleys of the nearby market. With a soft but confident delivery, he approached many women selling produce inside stalls, and talked about the latest model of charcoal burning cookstove. The agent was clearly well trained and knowledgeable. Those women familiar with the stove have only positive things to say about the product.
I am so proud to be a part of the monthly donor program with LivelyHoods. It is important to me to know I am supporting not only an organization but also talented and motivated agents who with some additional support are on their way to becoming independent with a skill.