Meet Caroline Achieng Odera; the founder of Women In Sustainable Enterprises (WISE).
WISE is an initiative based at Dunga beach in Kisumu that empowers underprivileged women from the wetlands and Island villages through sustainable enterprises. Caro grew up in Obunga slums of Kisumu assisting her mother in her fish business and that is how she realized her passion for women and enterpreneurship. She has also volunteered with various environmental organizations around Lake Victoria.
The WISE Initiative aims at offering alternative solutions to the high dependency on fish monging and other unsustainable small-scale businesses that have as a ripple effect caused the high cases of early marriages in the lake region.
Caroline, a graduate in Business Administration applies her professional skills in empowering women through entrepreneurship training, business planning and development and piloting alternative enterprises run by women in the line of green energy, ecotourism, handmade crafts from water hyacinth and papyrus, urban farming, production of reusable sanitary towels and soap making. She also provides basic ICT skills to the women for successful business communication, marketing and networking.
JABER SPARK: Caroline’s work has impacted the lives of about 500 women in wetland villages of Dunga, Kusa, Koguta and Mageta Island through her smokeless homes project that promotes access to clean and affordable energy for lighting and cooking through provision of solar lamps on a rent to own model. She continues to work with women in the aforementioned enterprises in Dunga beach. Her work has equally earned her various fellowship programs, trips and awards.
Caroline is determined to see a Lake region where Women are ‘fishing’ for themselves and becoming WISE!
“She teaches women how to fish other than just giving the fish!”
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Credit : Humans of Kisumu