Set to officially kick off in January, ZTE and FAWE says the beneficiaries of the project will get seed capital to launch business ventures as well as financial training to help them better manage their firms.
In a statement, Mr. Sen Liu, CEO of ZTE Corporation Kenya, said the programme will aim at providing sustainable solutions to improve the livelihood of the beneficiaries.
“The cooperation with FAWE will help women living in western counties of Kenya access financial training and support to start their micro-businesses. It will be the latest addition to our list of on-going social responsibility projects globally. This project will focus on long-term solutions rather than financial aid, as it will empower women to support their family as well as sending their children to school,” said Mr Liu.
He added: “We know that a small spark can kindle a big fire. We are hoping that through our initiative, we could raise the attention of the Kenyan society and encourage more individuals and companies to join this mission of enabling women and children across the country to receive education and to have a better life.”
First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, who was the chief guest at the signing ceremony, hailed the partnership saying it symbolizes the growing endorsement between Kenya and China under the auspices of the China-Africa People-to-People Friendship Action.
“I am happy to note that this programme sponsored by ZTE is designed to have a long-term impact on the lives of many women in Western Kenya, and will help lift their families out of poverty by providing them with genuine means of livelihood,” noted Mrs Kenyatta.
Chinese envoy to Kenya who also attended the ceremony, Ambassador Liu Xianfa, reiterated his country’s commitment to working with Kenya to improve the welfare of her people. He said the China-Africa People-to-People Friendship Action is one of the many initiatives China has embarked on to promote socio-economic ties between his country and African nations.
ZTE has been involved in other social responsibility projects in Kenya mostly targeting to provide learning opportunities for children in slums. For instance, the firm earlier this year provided education materials and cash to reconstruct a classroom at Caso Upendo in Mathare slums in Nairobi. It also sponsored a youth empowerment NGO in Kibera slums also in Nairobi.
Mr Liu revealed that among the options ZTE is exploring to enhance education outcomes among under-privileged communities in Kenya includes use of e-learning tools that allow students to study online and access electronic textbooks.