Partnering and a beauty salon in the slums contributing to sustainability

Sometimes just sitting together and exchanging experiences from NGO and Business backgrounds is really helpful. If we start working together not only in and for concrete projects with the target groups, but exchange knowledge also on our daily challenges, it creates a lot of impact – and a win to everyone.

That’s what happened two days back when I had a good time with the teachers of our NGO partner, SOLASA, in the slums of Eldoret.

One big challenge is how to make our work self- sustainable

Elisabeth, leading Solasa in Eldoret

Elisabeth, leading Solasa in Eldoret

“One of the main challenges in many NGOs is how to make e.g our vocational trainings more self-sustainable. It’s about how can the products which we produce in the vocational trainings become more self-sustainable so that we do not depend always on donations and sponsors,” says Elizabeth

Another issue which we figure out quickly is the lack of digital literacy, even among the teachers. Access to more knowledge, e.g in Health prevention, the knowledge on where and how to get new creative ideas from for vocational trainings is missing. There is no money for paying an Internet flatrate, no money to have good enough smartphones for the teachers.

“And then the continuous lack of money… when we teach hairdressing we need plastic heads with hairs. We use our materials many times. But if the artificial hair becomes rare, how can we continue to teach hair dressing?” adds a teacher.

A beauty salon in the slums – a way to grow income

Recently, Elizabeth and her team have opened a Beauty Salon. In the slums area where the NGO is located. To see if some of the students’ products can be sold. It’s nicely set up.

We have a look around. We talk about some basic marketing opportunities. There are some really interesting bags.

“Your items should have a logo. Make visible where these articles come from. Do the same also when you run activities. Create a brand. Create trust. Make your beauty salon somehow specific.” These are some ideas we discuss.

Later we have also a nice dinner together. For many of the teachers who do not earn big money a very rare event. We all enjoy!

Myself, I had also a lot of learnings going around with the teachers in the slums. Many small bits of information. Building good relationships . That’s what counts a lot, too. Especially, if we want to achieve together more than just running a “one shot project” together.

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