MERU Women’s Garden Project



The Meru Women’s Garden Project is the SIGBI Federation project for 2016-19.  This project aims to give women a boost to their earning power.  Woking Soroptimists have supported this project with several events.  Our first fund-raising event was Tea & Temptations!  – a fashion show with afternoon tea – in May 2016, organised jointly with SI Weybridge, which raised £1,555. And a further edition of Tea & Temptations! in May 2018 raised £1,760 and was again a joint effort with SI Weybridge. This takes the total raised by the two Clubs for the project to £3,315.  To date, Soroptimists across the world have raised over £127,010

Meru District is in Tigania East with a population of 136,000. 90% live in rural areas with HIV/AIDs prevalent in the region.   Meru Women’s Garden Project will support some of the poorest women-led households in Kenya, and is entirely focussed on providing opportunities to women and girls who may never otherwise be given the chance to earn an income, and gives them status within their community. It fully embraces the three key areas at the heart of SIGBI’s Programme Focus Goals – Educate, Empower and Enable. Improved food production and education will support women and girls to transform their lives and those of others through a process of cascade learning and mentoring thereby reducing poverty, improving health and increasing employment.

The following data gives a clear indication of the need for this project:

  • 41% of women and girls are grossly or borderline malnourished
  • 43% live below the poverty line of £1 per day, with more in rural areas
  • 55% live a hand to mouth existence in agriculture using methods which degrade the land
  • 93% use local trees for firewood, impacting hugely on deforestation
  • 22% have no formal education
  • 11% complete secondary education
  • 8% achieve minimum levels for literacy compared to 85% in Nairobi
  • 9% achieve minimum levels for numeracy compared to 87% in Nairobi

Our support for the Meru Garden Project links into UN Sustainable Development Goal No. 2:   End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture