JORA WOMEN GROUP
Jora women group comprise of 50 members. They are located in Jora village next to Kasigau hill which is one of the Taita hills that are part of the Eastern Arc Mountains covering 1000kmsq from Kenya to Tanzania. Jora village is located in Voi Constituency, Kasigau Location, Voi Division within the Taita Taveta District of Taita Taveta County in the Coast Province of Kenya.
The village is about 8 hours drive from the Nairobi city and about about 4 hours from Mombasa city in Kenya. The nearest town is called Voi and its about 1 hour drive. Jora village is between Tsavo East and Tsavo West national parks.
The main economic activities of the area around are agriculture and mining of precious stones. However, the area receives minimal rainfall which makes it hard for sustainable agriculture to take place. Therefore the women group’s main focus is food security; most men engage themselves in mining precious stones. The women use local materials to weave baskets which they sell locally.
HISTORY AND ACTIVITIES
Jora women group was started in 1974 by a group of women who came together in order to improve the livelihood of the community members. Over the years the group has participated in various activities which include goat keeping, jatrophas farming, rabbit keeping, basket weaving and maintaining their building premises. The women group has also been involved in various conservation efforts with other organizations and volunteers. The group’s projects having been challenging, for example the goat project involves members acquiring a goat from another member after the goat gives birth but this takes long time before the other member gets a goat. The basket weaving activity also takes long before the group gets buyers. The rabbit rearing project that the group had started as agribusiness was met with challenges of constructing an appropriate structure and knowledge about rabbit rearing as well as financial constrains.
Basket weaving remains the core activity for the women group; this is a tradition that has been passed from generations to generations. The baskets are weaved using sisal plant, colouring is from partly from the soil and partly from textile dyes.
- To fight poverty through agribusiness and entrepreneurship activities
- To conserve the environment through planting trees
- To collaborate with various organizations and institutions in order to achieve the stated objectives
- To conserve the endemic birds and birds through creating awareness on the importance of
- conserving the natural habitats
- To engage its members and the community in eco-tourism activities
- To organize Taita cultural shows to promote its culture