WHAT DOES LIVELYHOODS MEAN?
Creating livelihoods is about more than just providing access to a stable income. There are several different forms of capital (human, social, financial) that compose a livelihood.
Our model allows youth and women to build their financial capital by earning a stable income, build human capital by learning new sales skills, and to increase their social capital as they communicate and create relationships with members of their community.
We create job opportunities for youth and women
in their own communities, transforming marginalised
populations into clean energy distributors.
In Kenyan slums, up to 70% of youth are jobless, with women facing additional barriers in earning an income.
Kenya is facing an unemployment crisis that is exacerbated by stark gender and age-related inequalities. In Nairobi alone there are approximately 2.5 million slum-dwellers, the equivalent of 60% of the city’s population, living in an area covering only 6% of the city’s land. In Kenyan urban slums, 1.3 million young people (ages 18-32) are unemployed.
Most unemployed young people in slums have not completed school or vocational training, and lack formal work experience.
Kenya is an extremely young country, with 80% of the country aged under 35. The number of unemployed youth in Kenya is rising each year and, though the economy is growing, opportunities for under-qualified and under-educated youth from the country’s slums are few and far between. This leads to large populations of inactive youth, unable to escape a cycle of poverty and dependence, and instead falling into petty crime, or being coerced into violence and social unrest.
Societal norms about a woman's role in child-rearing and domestic work in Kenya can be huge obstacles standing in between a woman and her professional and personal development.
In Kenya, a woman is 45% more likely to be unemployed than a man (World Bank statistic). Women are also less likely to have finished school, (S.P Wamahiu) with secondary school enrollment rates 6% lower for women compared to men, nationally (UNESCO). In some slums in Kenya, the majority of households are single mother households, with a woman carrying the burden of providing for the family and looking after the children. In other cases, women are in abusive or unhealthy relationships, where a partner tries to prevent her from working, and earning an independent income.
Millions of families in Kenya burn biomass using cookstoves that emit toxic fumes that kill more children than malaria.
Traditional cookstoves have severe health impacts, with household air pollution contributing to 3.8 million premature deaths worldwide per year according to the World Health Organisation, with 13,000 in Kenya. People in slums lack access to innovative products, which have been created to address such challenges, because traditional retail channels cannot reach them, and small-scale entrepreneurs lack the capital to buy and sell these products.
Kenya’s forests have been depleted by 83% in the last 50 years, primarily for fuel, and burning biomass for cooking accounts for around 20% of all black carbon emissions.
In Kenya’s slums, the majority of residents use wood or charcoal stoves to cook their meals. The use of wood and charcoal for fuel is depleting Kenya’s forests, harming essential watersheds and destroying habitats for Kenya’s extraordinary wildlife populations. In addition, the carbon dioxide and black carbon emissions from burning biomass also contribute to climate change and cause additional health and respiratory problems.
Fuel and energy costs account for upwards of 21% of household income in Nairobi’s slums.
This situation leaves little room for economic growth and investment, and can hamper livelihoods development at the household level. Fuel is often bought on a daily basis, in small quantities, and traditional stoves are often cheap and inefficient, meaning upfront costs for cleaner energy alternatives seem prohibitive to uneducated consumers.