Launched in 2001 as the premier program of CDTD, the Domestic Workers Transformation Program is an integrated program that aims at empowering Domestic Workers in Kenya with skills for employment and self-reliance. Using a 5 pronged approach of Mobilization, Skills Training, Employment, Advocacy and Protection, CDTD offers holistic empowerment to Domestic Workers and other vulnerable and disadvantaged youths. Often times such youths consist of those less likely to access available training programmes or any other empowerment opportunities owing to the strict entry requirements set by most tertiary and vocational skills training service providers. Owing to their vulnerability, occasioned by poverty and lack of education, most program beneficiaries have suffered untold abuse and human rights injustices in the hands of employers. To counter the gross abuse of human rights in the Domestic Labour Sub-sector, CDTD equips the youths not only with vocational skills but also empowers them with information on their rights and obligations so that they can negotiate fair terms and conditions of employment. More than 10,000 individuals have been transformed by this program.

Program Activities

CDTD equips domestic workers with skills aiming at creating qualified, productive and efficient workforce with practical knowledge and skills in domestic work sub–sector. We adopted the NITA approved Homecare Management Course Curriculum in the skills training. The entry requirements for the training are a minimum age of 18 years and willingness to join the training.

Before the development and launch of the Homecare Management Course Curriculum in October 2018, CDTD had developed a manual used to train domestic workers in house work management. This process and material were very instrumental in steering towards the development of the curriculum which we participated in.

The need for this curriculum was necessitated by increased demand from families, employers and employment agencies requesting for qualified staff that can confidently work manage their homes and institutions. The CDTD’s partner training institution is recognized and approved by the National Employment Authority {NEA} and the National Industrial Training Authority {NITA} the external assessment body to offer this course.  The trainees spend 120 hours for the basic units (Homecare and Life Skills) training after which they are assessed and certified.

These are our community based training centres based in 10 of Nairobi’s low income neighborhoods’ name; Mathare, Mukuru Njenga, Mukuru Nyayo, Kangemi, Gatina, Kabiro, Kibera, Waruku, Githurai and Dandora. Domestic workers from these regions meet on a weekly basis for a free training in Homecare Management Course conducted by the CDTD staff. The trainees  are then assessed and vetted (through conducting thorough diligence checks – CID certificates, original ID scans, recommendation letters etc. on trainees and keeping a database of relevant details) and connected to clients for casual employments. CDTD began mobilizing Domestic Workers into Social Action Groups (towards collective voice and action/collective bargaining) within these strategic locations in informal settlements.

Graduates of the Domestic Workers Training Program get the opportunity to work through the Job Placement Service. The placement services caters for both full time and part time domestic work and it involves contractual agreements between an employer and employee. Those seeking employment are placed to work as per the skills gained i.e. laundry, housekeeping etc. CDTD graduates find work in: Private Households, Institutions (clinics, schools, daycare centres), Hotels, Corporate Offices and the Cleaning Industry. Besides Skills Development/Capacity Building in Homecare Management our training also entails enabling the domestic workers to negotiate for decent terms of service.

To ensure maximum efficiency and effectiveness, we offer support to our trainees by ensuring they settle well in their new work environment, managing their expectations as well as handling difficult situations at the work place. CDTD also enhances trainees’ professionalism by allowing additional training at their/employers request and convenience. For those who wish to make transitions to other sectors, we mentor and advise them accordingly.

CDTD links domestic workers to other service providers on a need basis. These services includes but not limited to Guidance and Counseling, Medical Services, Continuing with their Education and Legal Aid.

In efforts to push for decent work in Domestic Work sub-sector in Kenya, CDTD invests in domestic workers leaders by enhancing their leadership skills through this program. CDTD mentors 10 domestic workers leaders in 10 Nairobi’s low income neighborhoods who represent their colleagues in different leadership platforms. The leaders further mentor their peers in their respective areas and thus empowering them to work with and for their community better. Following the issuance of the ILO Convention 189 on Domestic Work, CDTD has been engaging with relevant stake holders as well as domestic workers and their leaders to create awareness through trainings on the need for ratification of the convention. As a strategy, CDTD advocates for social dialogue between Domestic Workers and their Employers with the aim of fostering better understanding and peaceful relations in the households.