Meet Narripol Pariken, ME to WE Artisan

Narripol Pariken wanted to be a nurse. But her parents sent her to marry at 16, as is custom in her Kenyan village of Sikirar, and she dropped out of school after Grade 6.

Before WE Charity constructed schools in her village and encouraged girls to attend, it was rare for families to be concerned with the education of their daughters. “When you educate a girl, the benefits go to the husband,” Narripol, now a 33-year-old mother, explains.

The best job opportunity available in Sikirar is independent business. But it’s near-impossible to raise enough start-up capital, and her husband and seven children keep her well occupied with other tasks. There were times when her husband couldn’t feed the whole family on his single income, Narripol says, especially during the severe drought that hit the Horn of Africa last fall.

That was before what Narripol calls her “saviour from poverty.”

Before their ME to WE Artisans partnership, most women in the village stayed at home and waited for their husbands to return. Now, Narripol and the other Artisans mamas head to work every day to hand craft their designs, weave glass beads into soft leather and swap gossip under the shade of acacia trees. Their hard work reaps great rewards. With her Artisans earnings, Narripol has purchased two goats, new clothes and utensils. And with her addition to the household income, the family will be less vulnerable when the rains fail.

Thanks to WE Charity and ME to WE, Narripol and the women of Sikirar feel “empowered,” she says.

Narripol has great hope for the future. She wants all of her children to finish school and get jobs—her daughters want to be teachers. With ME to WE Artisans, Narripol sees a chance to build new homes with metal roofs, and a new lifestyle for her family.

“Life will change,” she says.