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HERStory

Working from home can be hard for anybody and this era of social distancing isn’t making it easier. Most companies right now require most of their staff to work effectively from home due to the covid-19 outbreak. This can be hard for people who are not used to working from home due to various distractions like; loud neighbors, children, pets, a loud spouse, chores, TV, the internet and so much more. In order to work efficiently from home and actually get things done, one needs discipline, here are 5 ways that can help you beat your work schedule.


HAVE A ROUTINE

As much as you are working from home, make sure you clock into work the same time you did before the pandemic. If you clocked in at 8:00am, went for lunch break at 1:00pm and clocked out at 5:00pm, do the same. Do not start working anytime you want because, this will interfere with your work and home schedule. Take needed breaks as well to clear your mind. Don’t forget to take a cup of coffee or take tea to kick start your day.


DESIGNATE A WORK SPACE

Creating a work space for yourself will help you transition smoothly from working at the office with your colleagues to working at home, alone. Working from the bed every day is not working, the bed is designed for sleeping and not working. A work station will help you distinguish between work time and home time. You don’t need a whole room to act as your office, find a place at a corner in your house, put a desk, decorate it with a simple frame, planner, pen holder and maybe an artificial plant or a candle and you are good to go. You can also just use your dining table.



GROOM YOURSELF

As you work from home, you need to groom yourself daily, as if you are going to an actual office. Wake up early in the morning, do a work out, take a shower, dress up but down, have breakfast and clock in. Grooming helps one feel better about themselves as well as helps one to look forward to what the day has to offer. If you are a lady, put on some earrings, a bra and splash some perfume on your skin. Trust me! This changes everything! The men can simply comb their hair, dress in casual clothes, a bit of cologne and that’s it!

 



CREATE BOUNDARIES

If you don’t live alone, you will have to make it clear to your housemates that, your office is out of bound and discourage interruption during working hours. If you have a child, ask for help from whomever you are living with to take care of the baby while you are at work, you can also explain to your child that “Mummy or Daddy is working and needs their space.” Creating boundaries curbs disruptions and this will help you work efficiently.



TAKE BREAKS

Once work is done, tidy up your work desk in preparation for work tomorrow. Put away all your electronic devices, get off social media for a while, have some me-time, go for a walk by yourself or with your spouse, pet or child, put some music on and take a breather. Eat well and enjoy an episode or two as you relax, this is for your sanity. During this uncertain times, we need to keep our mental health in check as well as that of others, take some time off and do that, check on your friends too.

 

 

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HERStory

The business of masks in Africa has grown tremendously in a short period, this is due to the corona virus pandemic. Most African governments have turned to local textile manufacturers as well as small and large scale fashion brands to assist in the making of both surgical and cloth masks in order to curb the spread of the pandemic.




The support from various governments in the continent has  shocked many as most African countries heavily rely on China and this is because, most governments, allegedly claim that the local industries are incapable of manufacturing good quality products in bulk.

Wearing a mask everywhere is the new normal, but let’s face it, surgical masks are just not cute. Fashion brands across Africa have switched up and stepped out of their comfort zone to provide stylish cloth masks, in response to the desperate need for protective measures against the spread of covid-19.



I commend all African fashion brands that immediately stepped up and started manufacturing cloth masks. In times like this, businesses that are able to think out of the box and provide essentials, will thrive.

Some of the women owned brands that have stepped up to provide cloth face mask are; Shop New Level by Nancie Mwai, Airimu Klan, Ikojn by Cris Njoki and Vivo Woman just but to mention a few. The above women owned brands are not only making masks for commercial purposes but also, distributing a few to the needy. For example, Shop New Level gave away around 500 pieces (This is in reference to their Instagram page and Ikojn have solely made mask for the public for free and one can purchase them on their Instagram page @ikojnlive  




The product is good enough to filter out hazardous particles and bad smells as well as droplets from sneezing which is one of the ways of contacting the virus.   
The cloth masks are not meant to replace surgical masks but a fashionable alternative, to those who can’t access the surgical masks. There is a shortage of surgical masks and therefore, most people should look into cloth masks and leave the surgical masks to health officers as they need them more than we do.

Cloth masks are reusable, stylish and can be made at home, just make sure that your masks have the following 3 protective layers in order for them to be effective; Outer layer fabric,middle layer, non-woven water repellent fiber fabric and an inner layer lining.


World Health Organisation (WHO), recommends that everyone should wear a mask when out in public in order to protect others in case they are unknowingly infected. Remember surgical are not like reusable cloth masks which can be sanitized with soap and water, they should be safely disposed after one-wear. Kindly DO NOT  use face masks on children below the age of 3 years as well as on people with breathing problems.

 

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HERStory

Most African states have ordered small businesses, including bars and restaurants to close down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The closure is devastating, not only to the owners of the businesses but also to their employees, who rely on the business in order to fend for their families.
Here are 5 ways you can help small African (women-owned) businesses afloat.


ORDER ONLINE

Most stores and restaurants might have closed their doors but they are still offering delivery services. You can shop easily from the comfort of your home and have the goods conveniently delivered to your doorstep.


SHARE AND GIVE FEEDBACK ON SOCIAL MEDIA

You never know who needs that product or service that has just been delivered to you. With the situation at hand, most people think that all stores have been closed down, a simple share might lead to the next customer. Remember, sharing is caring! 


BUY GIFT CARDS

You can give small businesses reassurance during this time by buying gift cards from them. This will help keep the business afloat as well as the employees. As much as you won’t be using the gift card at the very moment because you are staying at home, you can use it later when things get back to normal.



DON’T CANCEL ORDERS

We know everyone is in panic mode right now but kindly DO NOT CANCEL your order but rather RESCHEDULE! Remember that this small business relies on your order for its upkeep.


STAY INDOORS AND SANITIZE.

We can all help small businesses by staying indoors and following the directives given by WHO on how to fight the COVID-19. If we do this, things will get back to normal and small businesses can slowly start picking themselves up and get back to business.


“The bad news is, everybody is the problem and the good news is, everybody is the solution.”
How are you supporting a small business today?

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HERStory, Uncategorized

When did you start WAPI?

I started WAPI 2 years ago.

Why did you start WAPI?

I discovered a wealth of amazing brands, artisans and initiatives as well as a melting pot of cultures but I felt that many of these brands and initiatives relied on word of mouth for any visibility and that the different communities I met seemed to each know different places with not much cross over. I love playing to Hide and seek but did not find it super convenient

I decided to do something about this, bring information about the wealth of artisans and initiatives that exist, for people to access to it one click away. So the WAPI? Idea was born.


How did it start?
It started by designing a website and an app that enables people to discover new places, news brands, new initiatives as well as the people behind those brands and initiatives as well as their inspiring stories.

What is your ambition for WAPI?
My ambition is for WAPI? to allow people to discover all the hidden treasures in their city and, somehow, bring people together.
In another words, to create the WAPI? Community.I would like everyone to be able to get a small glimpse of the brands referenced in WAPI? on their doorsteps, which is why we developed the WAPI? Box concept, getting a selection of products delivered to you, straight to your doorstep. 

How can one get the WAPI box?

If you want to treat yourself or a friend, you can get the WAPI box by subscribing either through our website or ur App, at a small fee of not more than ksh.2800 per month.


What does the WAPI box compose of?

Each month, our team puts together the WAPI? Box by  choosing special products, services, and promotions for you to discover.
Products vary from box to box and includes cosmetics, arts and crafts, jewelry, books, fair-trade, organic products, as well as vouchers and special promotion offers, amongst others.

I read somewhere that the WAPI BOX is a surprise box,
Yes it is!
We want to keep the element of surprise and discovery so the content of the WAPI? Box remains a surprise until you receive it !
However, we also came up with new thematic set boxes: The Baby box, the men box, the Beauty box, the Bride to be box. A box for every occasion.

How many people make the WAPI team?

We are currently 3.

How many brands have you worked with at the moment?

Currently we are working with about 100 brands and artisans.

How else do you help this brands?

By sharing the inspiring and unique stories behind each brand, we want to inform consumers, raise awareness about the impact of their daily choices. Doing so, we help our brands and artisans reach a different market.


What are the challenges you have faced so far with WAPI?

I have experienced several challenges but this two are the most striking ones; it is very challenging to find unique entrepreneurs as one has to dig very deep, and financial management is certainly the second biggest one, I had to really get to understand the market.It is hard to find a Creative person who has the figures on their tips.

What has WAPI taught you?

Patience is a virtue that WAPI? has taught me and this circles around dealing with clients as well as different brands through training and through seeking unique brands. WAPI? has also taught me to appreciate diversity as each and every day, I get to meet beautiful entrepreneurs who inspire me with their stories.

Is WAPI? your only job?

No, I am also a communication consultant.

In your opinion, what is the future of subscription box companies in Kenya?

The future is bright as most people are becoming more open minded to the idea. And everyone like surprises isn’t it?


Where do you see WAPI in the next years?

In the next years, I hope we’ll bring WAPI? Beyond Kenya’s borders to show to the world the Best of what Kenya has to offer.

 Visit WAPI?
Website www.wapikenya.com
Instagram @wapiseekunique

 

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HERStory




Imagine a man strong and brave enough to fight for women rights. Meet Jeremiah Kipainoi  a communication practionier who has dedicated his life to influence policy against Female Genital Mutilation in Africa, through digital media.    

He graduated from Daystar University with his communications degree and the Dean’s Award for the school of Communication, Languages and Performing Arts. He later got a scholarship to be part of the Salzburg Global Seminar, where his fire to use communication to fight harmful cultural practices was sparked. Being from the Maasai community, Jeremiah had a social experience on FGM and so he decided to embark on the journey to fight it.

Together with friends, Kipainoi embarked rural village visits under the hash tag #WarriorsOnTour. They ended up visiting several communities in Kajiado, Isiolo, Marsabit and Samburu, most communities practiced FGM.
(Photo courtesy of TheStarKenya)
“I encountered culture shock. I couldn’t understand or speak some languages. I had to learn socio-political practices of various communities.” 
I partnered with different organizations who shared the same vision as mine .

Since late 2017, Kipainoi has been working with Anti-FGM activists on a national scale, amplifying their voices through various media outlets and assisting in campaigns against FGM.

“I studied to work in a newsroom.” He said.  “I never thought I would be a champion for Child Protection.”

While in Samburu , he got the chance to work as a communications officer at Samburu Girls Foundation, which shelters girls’ from FGM, beading and child abuse in the community has shaped his worldview on his communication background. 

He as well works among communities where 12-year-old girls get married off to older men after undergoing Female Genital Mutilation.
“To the communities, this is a cultural norm, he said, In reality, these girls’ futures are bleak.”
(Photo taken in Marigat in Baringo County, October 16, 2014 by SIEGFRIED MODOLA/REUTERS Courtesy of Newsweek.)

The few minutes taken to practice Female Genital Mutilation will have life-long effects on the girls; physical, psychosocial and economical.

 “FGM is not like a common cold.” He said. “Drinking syrup can’t make it go away!”

The psychological trauma that these girls undergo are often lifelong.
“I once asked a 70-year-old woman about her cutting experience. Her description was vivid.” Apart from the pain during the practice, becoming a mother and a wife at a pre-teen age, getting introduced to adult chores and womanhood denies them the rights to be children.”

 At this age, the girls’ main focus should be school.

“When I see girls reciting poems ,making beads and even singing in school, I envision the impact they can have in this world if they are given an opportunity to complete their education, uncut and not married off.

“FGM needs to be fought from the core, from the community first and if the core is not broken, then it will never stop.”

Kipainoi started the End FGM podcast in 2019, focusing on how people and communities are working in grassroots to end FGM. 

“I realized that you can’t end FGM alone. You need to involve people; and make everyone understand and own the campaign… from the village to the city. Everyone!”

His guests compromise of people actively fighting FGM within their communities.

It is the women around her and the hopes of being a father to a girl that makes his fire against FGM burn even brighter.
Jeremiah has 3 sisters and cannot imagine how their lives would have been if the mother did not protect them from going through the cut. Their education would have been scrapped off, the psychological, emotional and physical well-being would have been different.  

He believes in communication to create understanding and this has been his main focus while working with various practicing communities.  He believes in clear communication of facts and debunking myths, making people understand what FGM is, its effects, what the law says about it and why it should not be practiced.

It is men like Jeremiah that empower women to be their best self in whatever way and are ready to fight for them. Can you imagine if all African women underwent FGM and were married off at the age of 10 to men 5 times their age?

In order to end Female Genital Mutilation, there is need for a Civic Education and meaningful community involvement. Giving a voice to the campaigners in the grassroots is important in making the outcomes of the campaign long-term. People need to start talking. In order for them to do so in public, they must feel safe. Normalizing the conversation among the people is a step in the right direction, and it starts with me, through the End FGM Podcast.

“The cut, cuts away the life for a girl.”
(Photo courtesy of WHO)(Photo courtesy of WHO)

The End FGM Podcast is live on Google and Apple Podcasts as End FGM ( www.kipainoi.com/category/fgm/end-fgm-podcast/)
Website: www.kipainoi.com

 

 

 

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