Kalevala and Home Street Home
In September 2020, Kalevala Koru launched its new brand, which brought the company back to its roots more strongly. Supporting and empowering women has always been at the heart of Kalevala Koru. The beginning of the company and the reason for its existence have their roots in supporting women and children and the idea of charity. The founder of the company, Elsa Heporauta, and a group of socially active women wanted to erect a statue of a Kalevala woman in the 1930s through the sale of jewelry. However, the funds raised were used to help those in need at war. Especially women and children.
Kalevala Koru was looking for a partner and a charity, whereas much of the grant as possible would go directly to the project. It was also important that the impact of the grant is as large as possible and that it can be measured. These were all fulfilled for the Home Street Home and Kalevala Training Center project. With knowledge and skill, together we can change the world.
Kalevala Training Center
During the spring and summer of 2020, with the funding of Kalevala Koru, we have built and established a training center for girls and young women. Kalevala Koru is responsible for financing the project and Home Street Home handles the operational side of the project. With the Kalevala Training Center, we can train vulnerable girls and young women. The courses are aimed at uneducated girls aged 16-25.
Girls are still at a disadvantage compared to boys. Girls’ education is threatened by poverty, family attitudes and crisis situations. Cases of exploitation of girls, early pregnancies, forced marriages and cases of human trafficking remain common. In addition, in the daily lives of families, girls are placed more responsible for housekeeping, cooking, and caring for children, while boys can focus on their studies. In the evenings, the girls cook, do the dishes, and do the laundry, so the time available for homework is reduced. This leads to a decline in a girl’s school performance and even dropping out of school.
The education areas of the Kalevala Training Center are part of the Kenyan education system. At the end of the courses, students can take a national final exam, after which they receive an official certificate of competence. We offer three different courses: Computer Packages, Salon & Hairdressing and Tailoring & Dressmaking. During the courses, students learn the basics of the fields in theory and practice. During the studies, competence is assessed and tested so that we can be sure that all students are keeping up. The teachers are six local hired teachers.
In addition to theory and practical skills, teaching will focus on entrepreneurial orientation and leadership themes. We want to encourage students to be entrepreneurial and coach them towards the future. Through motivational exercises, leadership lessons, and entrepreneurship themes, we aim to ensure that students are left with a variety of tools for the future.
Construction work and teaching materials
The Kalevala Training Center was built together with local experts and craftsmen. During the construction and furnishing phase, we employed more than 90 local unemployed young people, builders, carpenters, and artisans. All work steps were performed using local materials and work methods. We selected strong and long-lasting materials. The floor was tiled and the doors and window frames, as well as the furniture, were handcrafted from hardwood.
High-quality and modern tools were chosen as teaching equipment, which make modern learning possible. The laptops in the computer class were equipped with the latest software, and in addition to the manual Singers, multi-purpose electronic sewing machines were acquired for the tailoring class. All equipment, materials and tools were procured through local suppliers.
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