Women groups that rely on beadwork in Laikipia County have reached a milestone that seems to transform their lives for the better. This is after the County Government of Laikipia invited the Tourism Fund which organized a three-day training in Nanyuki aimed at ensuring the women add more value to their products with an increased income.
According to the Director of Tourism Fund Abel Odhiambo, this is a show of their commitment to keeping the promise they made last year after the County Government invited them to capacity build people in the tourism sector.
The reason we funded this training for the women is as a way of promoting local tourism. It is a fulfilled promise to the County Government. We intend to continue with this partnership. he said.
The training covered areas like improving designs, producing a variety of beadworks, product differentiation and packaging, customer service, tour guiding skills, safety and hygiene, digital marketing, first aid techniques, and other relevant topics that benefitted the group in what they will now be offering to the market.
The different combinations of beads in any product should be customized depending on the colors preferences of a person. For instance, people from different communities prefer different colors.
First aid lessons and other life skills help the women when handling a customer with injuries or other minor health issues before they are attended by the doctors. The over 100 attendants who were drawn from various women groups as representatives, agreed on the need to unite under one umbrella to have better and more bargaining power in the market.
We need to come together as women dealing in beadworks for us to benefit from different financiers and other stakeholders. When we are united, we will enjoy economies of scale, branding will be easier, and so will the marketing of our products. said Pamela Kilua from Naibala Women Group.
Laikipia County is well known for promoting cultural tourism as witnessed in beadwork. It is considered a tourist destination by many because of some unique features and rare wild animals like the Big Five and the Black Panther. More engagements are set to follow this training for monitoring how well the training has been put into use.
We want to urge all the other counties to take a cue from Laikipia in promoting tourism through identifying the needs of key players, supporting them, and even getting partners to support them more as this is a devolved function. said Sam Ikwaye from Tourism Professional Association (TPA).