It was one of the hottest days of the drought season in Baringo, Kenya, when Christie-Lee and her daughter Coco came with us to one of the training sessions for the rural women groups in Baringo. This was going to be the third session with two rural women groups from Kailer region, who have joined together the program of The Little Big Project Kenya, to receive several sessions in menstrual, sexual and reproductive health rights and income generating activities. Previously, we had initiated the training program for the primary school on the area, involving the child girls and child boys in separate sessions to learn about menstrual, sexual and reproductive health, and receive useful resources as reusable sanitary pads kits to help them to attend school regularly and with dignity.
The Ilchamus women, a Maasai subethnic group, always receive visitors with songs and dances that welcome them, to wish them God blessings and for them to bring good things to their place. “Ashe” means thanks, and they sang for us to thank God and thank everything new that will happen during that day.
The training was one of the components of the income generating activity program: culinary training in recipes chosen by the women, for them to be able to replicate them locally and generate some individual or group income. During that day, they had chosen to receive a training in pillaw (traditional Kenyan recipe) and cake.
Most of the women spent the day doing her household chores, which include fetching water, carrying firewood and washing clothes by hand, so the training sessions are always placed locally, in one of the compounds of the women group members, and under a tree. Fortunately, this time we had a big tree with enough shade to protect us from the hit the entire day. The women did not arrive until 12pm, after finishing their chores, and then we started the culinary training with local means, a portable charcoal stove and a stove made with holes in the ground and firewood.
Despite the intense hit, that day we had a lot of fun. The local children and the visitors’ children played around with sand, balloons and branches, and we finished the day decorating the cake with the names of the women groups who proudly declared that next time, they were going to cook the cake for us.