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News"For Ladies Only"... An Egyptian project that transforms waste into valuable products

“For Ladies Only”… An Egyptian project that transforms waste into valuable products

Triple benefit that the project has been able to achieve, since it helps women financially in a way that does not constitute an obstacle to their life with their families, and at the same time helps to create strong social bonds between its workers, in addition to its ability to serve the environment by converting a lot of waste into usable manufactured materials.

Hana Desouky, one of the founders of “Kendaka” and marketing manager of the project, explains its main characteristics:

Kindaka is a project that started in Badr City because it is an isolated area and traditional employment opportunities for women are not compatible with women’s family life. The goal of the project is to reuse waste in a sustainable way and transform it into high quality products that show the creative side of every woman. The project is characterized by flexible working hours, which allow women to reconcile work and family. The name Kendaka was chosen in a participatory manner among women who have been involved in the project since its inception in 2019, and a Nubian woman’s suggestion for the name sparked admiration. The Nubian lady who came up with the name of the project explained that it meant the strong and wise woman who excels in the work, hence the adoption of the name of the project. The environmental and social project reuses three main materials: glass, plastic and scrap. We have been able to convert glass waste, such as single-use bottles in which milk or soft drinks are placed, into usable tools with a longer shelf life, such as cups and carafes.

The Kendaka project has a distinctive social aspect, of which Hana summarizes the most important characteristics:

The project is limited to women and does not want to put women in a position where they have to choose between sacrificing their family or their work, because women can mix the two without failing in any aspect. Each woman determines how long she needs to work and we link working hours to the rate of production. The human connection between women, the comfort and sympathy between them and their sense of each other’s problems is what made us limit the work to women. The project is based on women residing in the region, where we have set up production units for women who are part of the project and partners of it. We hired women who had sufficient skills in leadership, shop management or quality assessment, even if they did not have sufficient education, which was not an issue that mattered to us as much as our interest in their skills that help them acquire this craft. We sought to increase the effectiveness of women in order to integrate them into the project.

On the social role of the “Kendaka” project, Hana says:

There is communication between the administration and the women and between the women among themselves, the provision of female work units creates spaces of comfort between them and gives them security at work without feeling the existence of constraints . The city of Badr has a particularity, because it is a semi-isolated area characterized by an uneven social fabric, which created obstacles to the rapid mixing between people, but the work in the “Kendaka” project forced women to backgrounds to build friendships and support each other. We are supported by an organization and we work in total financial independence vis-à-vis it, to achieve both social and financial sustainability. We do not aim to favor commercial orientation over environmental or social aspects, especially with regard to flexible working hours. Profits flow back to the company and re-enter the system, helping to achieve company social goals and helping to add other services such as increasing worker efficiency or creating garden gardens. children on site, with the aim of strengthening the system. Women discovered themselves in a creative role rather than being limited to the role of mother or wife. We were able to provide a safe space for the exchange of opinions and social and life experiences between women, which represents great social support in an area where the social fabric interacts little with each other.

For her part, Huwaida Hamdi, head of the glass workshop in Kindaka, explains that:

Along with children, many employment opportunities are unsuitable for working mothers, especially in terms of caring for their homes and children. In Kindaka, the working hours are suitable and the wages are remunerative. At the same time, I can take care of my husband and my children without any problem. Working in Kindaka provides a very good financial income, with a high spirit of the fact that all its workers are women. We can produce various high quality products. The work contains a high degree of safety in terms of the use of face and hand protection, and the like, to protect against any danger.

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Arab Desk
The Eastern Herald’s Arab Desk validates the stories published under this byline. That includes editorials, news stories, letters to the editor, and multimedia features on easternherald.com.

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