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Wee Care, providing affordable and quality childcare in Kibera.

Wee Care, providing affordable and quality childcare in Kibera.

Affordable childcare is fundamental in urban slums such as Kibera because most parents need to work to access and provide basic needs for their families. Parents in urban slums who need daycare the most cannot afford it. Lack of affordable daycare has held mothers back in the recent years and forced them to stay at home. Single mothers have opted for any available childcare they can afford regardless of the services provided.

Carol, from our pilot cohort, studied Early Childhood Education and saw the need to start an affordable, high-quality daycare. Wee Care was started to provide high-quality daycare to enable parents in Kibera keep their jobs or search for jobs while their children received a strong start towards their education.

Wee Care, receives a minimum of 25 children in a day and has 3 employees. Parents, drop off their children as early as 7 and pick them up as late as 7. Wee Care daycare package includes Early Childhood Education, healthy balanced meals and a comfortable warm nap in between. Wee Care takes in all children regardless of their age. The charge is Ksh 50 half a day and Ksh 100 ($1) for a full day, subsidized for the community members to be able to afford it. There is a monthly charge of Ksh 1500 ($15) highly preferred by most parents.

The children at WeeCare not only get to play but also learn new things each day including promoting their language skills alongside encouraging their curiosity through focusing on the children's individual interests and ideas. Carol of WeeCare looks to promote the social and emotional development of the children using teachable moments of their daily interaction amongst each other, their educators and parents as well!

Wee Care’s long-term goal is to start a preschool and kindergarten. Carol hopes this will be possible by the time 2019 kicks off since most parents prefer their children to start off their education at wee care.

Our new Hub launch and the community prospects

Our new Hub launch and the community prospects

In Korogocho the  community is eagerly awaiting the launch of our new Hub! The new Hub will allow us to develop new partnerships and improve our current ones in the Eastlands area of Nairobi. These partnerships will bring sustainability through impact oriented business ventures, reaching a large and diverse community.

We are launching the Hub at the Korogocho resource center, central to a large market where there is a lot of business activity.The resource center has been of great avail to the community because it acts as a meeting point between the community and different organizations.   Somo will add an incubation program, entailing entrepreneurship training, a mentorship program and community building initiatives to the area.

We are engaging different community members to help in carrying out outreach in the community.   Maureen, a member of the resource center for five years, is exhilarated to work proximate to Somo and has expressed the community's prospects: "We hope that the Somo project will impact our community positively. And that many will benefit from the project." She says that the community is looking forward having Somo there to help launch more enterprises in the area.

Florence, a businesswoman in Korogocho market, has started to sell of our entrepreneurs' goods through the Pop Up Shop says that she has a great hope that Somo will focus to empower mainly women and the youth. Evans, who works at the resource center, also hopes for a change in the underserved population as target groups in enforcing change.

Our new Hub provides a space, for our already graduated entrepreneurs that live closer to Korogocho hence providing both the team and our entrepreneurs an environment suitable in the scaling up of the businesses by providing access to the fast internet; needed for marketing and reporting.

We look forward to launching our hub and providing opportunities and growth in the underserved population of Korogocho.




"If you are from a slum in Kenya, the holidays have a way of reminding you that you are underserved.” A woman called Loice from Korogocho, the place we are setting up our 2nd Hub, tells me. In Nairobi’s low-income communities, where charity rather than investment is the norm and severe access and inequities exist, low-income communities become extremely marginalized. December is the season for giving and gifting, and we ask that this season you help us double our impact for next year!

Somo partners with local entrepreneurs to help them build self-sustaining, high-impact businesses. Our current program includes a rigorous business plan workshop, a 12-week MBA Bootcamp and an advisory program offering professional mentorship. Somo then builds long-term advising relationships with the graduates and offers early-stage grant equity and later-stage growth capital to qualifying entrepreneurs. We have created two co-working hubs for our entrepreneurs, and we help them expand their market access with shops and delivery services. Businesses include an organic urban farm, a computer programming school, a renewable briquettes manufacturer, Kenyan inspired recycled dolls, honey, peanut butter, and candles.

We have the power to help these communities-- instead of ephemeral gifts we give people the tools they need to change their communities from within.

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Teaching web design for a better future

Teaching web design for a better future

Elkanah is a web designer from Kawangware, one of the informal settlements in Nairobi. In 2016, he started DoubleServe to train youth in web design, helping them  acquire necessary skills to find jobs. Elkanah grew up living in an informal settlement in Kericho. After finishing high school in 2006, he decided to come to Nairobi to look for a job, a feit he found much more difficult than expected. He then joined college studying IT but wasn't able to finish school because he didn't have enough money for the school fees. After working in several odd jobs, he was able to join college again since he earned money as a web designer, which allowed him to pay for his school fees. Because of his own experience, Elkanah is passionate about training youth from the informal settlements to help them identify their passion and improve their personal situation. DoubleServe is not only a place where youth learns more about IT and web design but also a place they can receive mentorship, coaching and personal development.

At the moment, eleven students are being trained at DoubleServe on a daily basis. As a first step, they are trained in MS Office before moving to a more specialised program about web design. Currently there are eight students who joined the second part of the program. For his students to get practical practice, Elkanah is engaging with companies to acquire them as clients for DoubleServe. For the ones who stop after the basic training, Elkanah tries to connect them with companies which are more suitable for them. The main challenge DoubleServe faces at the moment is the consistency of the students since the training is free of charge for them. He is creating a model whereby his students learn the web design skills for free but then join his company and work off the training costs through lower salaries when starting.

Elkanah was part of Somo’s Cohort 4. He especially benefitted  from the financial management training and how to plan and track daily business activities. After finishing the training at Somo, DoubleServe got officially licensed as a business. At the moment Elkanah is providing the training in Kibera but he wishes to open a branch in his home area of Kawangware at the beginning of 2018. In three years, he envisions DoubleServe as an established company for web design and youth training and mentorship at the same time.

AfriKnit Dolls bring African dolls to life

AfriKnit Dolls bring African dolls to life

Susan and Meshack started AfriKnit Dolls to design and manufacture African dolls at an affordable price. Their idea was to create dolls with African hairstyles and Kitenge fabrics that Kenyan children can identify with. These dolls not only fill a demand gap in the local market but also have a positive impact on environmental pollution, using leftover fabrics for stuffing and making the bodies and clothes of the dolls. 

Meshack and Susan and Ryan with Afriknit dolls.JPG

Afriknit dolls joined Somo’s Cohort 4 training. During the training, they gained knowledge about business modeling, learned how to pitch and networked with other trainees and advisors. The received feedback allowed them to refine their idea and start their own business. 

Up to now, Susan uses a manual sewing machine for manufacturing the dolls. Since it requires a lot of physical energy, she is limited to a production of 5 dolls per day. For this reason, a major share of Somo’s investment has been spent an electrical sewing machine, more than doubling the production output per day. This is an important step to reach their vision of selling one hundred dolls per month. In that regard beginning of this month they also started renting a place to have more space available for production and storing materials. The place also offers enough room to start their training for interested individuals and the youth on how to make the dolls. 

AfriKnit dolls.JPG

One of the first questions people normally ask Susan and Meshack is how they actually came up with this idea since they have never seen a similar doll like this before. The answer is they designed the dolls because they had extra fabric from their uniform business and found that there were no affordable dolls that their kids could relate to on the market. In general, people love the dolls since they are softer, more flexible, more affordable, more durable and less harmful than the plastic ones out in the market. Currently, their business is mostly based on local sales but they have begun to market to schools to introduce their dolls to their programs and parents of kids in the school. To this day, the dolls have not only found new homes in Kenya but also around the world in Brazil, Germany, the Netherlands, Peru, UK, and the USA.

If you want to get your own doll, visit our PopUp store in person or online: