The Star (Nairobi)

12 May 2014

Kenya: Chinese PM's Wife Gives Computers and Cameras

Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang's wife yesterday donated 40 desktop computers, 10 Lenovo tablets and 10 digital cameras to a women's empowerment organisation.

Cheng Hong made the donation to Joyful Women Organisation at the College of Insurance in Nairobi after touring an exhibition by the group.

She was led in her visit by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta and was received by the patron of Joywo, Deputy President William Ruto's wife Rachel Ruto.

The First Lady said the visit by Li and Cheng shows the close bilateral relations between Kenya and China.

"I would encourage organisations dealing with empowerment of women in both countries to consider initiating exchange programmes to enable their members benefit from diverse experiences and to help boost the warm and cordial ties between our countries," she said.

Cheng said she will work with Margaret to start mutually beneficial exchange programmes for women.

She said China had undertaken special programmes to empower women but there is a lot they can learn from Kenya.

Cheng said "when I go back I will apply some of the things I have learnt here" after learning the table banking concept and how Joywo works.

Rachel said her motivation is to see women contributing to the economy and supporting their families as much as men do.

"We didn't come to Nairobi to count vehicles, we came to work," she said.

Rachel said Joywo began four years ago in Uasin Gishu county and is spreading nationally.

Joywo provides financial empowerment to women to engage in livelihood projects through table banking.

It supports women in accessing markets, enhancing growth of women's small-scale investments and strengthening identification and incubation of livelihood projects.

The organisation began with 1,000 members but currently has more than 100,000 members.

Rachel said the donated equipment will be distributed to offices of the group in different counties.

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