Domestic Workers Transformation Program

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.

Our Approach to Domestic Workers Empowerment

Mobilization and Advocacy

Domestic Workers and other disadvantaged youths are reached through existing community structures i.e community leaders/gate keepers,churches, local administration, word of mouth, awareness raising events, workshops and IEC materials. Those who have benefitted in the past refer their peers to join the program and constitute the largest referral agents.

Since inception, CDTD has continuously advocated for fair working conditions for Domestic Workers and is known locally and internationally for crusading for Domestic Workers Rights. In 2009, on the occasion of the Sixteen Days of Activism against Domestic Violence, CDTD launched its advocacy program in the presence of government officials, Funding partners, Collaborating CSOs, Domestic Workers and Domestic Workers Union Officials from (KUDHEIHA). CDTD has been carryi ng out trainings and workshops and also distributing IEC materials to raise awareness on the plight of Domestic Workers and engaging with employers on the need to respect workers human rights.

CDTD successfully engaged with the Kenya Institute of Education (now Centre for Curriculum Development and Research) to develop enable the adoption of curriculum for Homecare Management Training of Domestic Workers. CDTD has been recognized by the Kenyan Media and often receives coverage for its work. In 2009, the CDTD Executive Director, was awarded by the American Embassy on the occasion of the International Women’s Day as an Unsung Hero for her work with girls and women. To create visibility for Domestic Workers, CDTD mobilizes them to participate at both local and national events where their voices can be heard. Following the issuance of the ILO Convention 189 on Domestic Work, CDTD has been engaging with relevant stake holders as well as domestic worker to create awareness 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.

Talia Anglers Girls Shelter
Talia Anglers Girls Shelter


In 2018, CDTD was involved in the development of a curriculum for training young women destined for migrant domestic work in the Middle East; NB we have trained over 6000 migrant Domestic Workers using the curriculum in 2019. With the support of Global Fund for Women we have also been working towards enhancing organizing and advocacy capabilities for Domestic Workers. We began mobilizing Domestic Workers into Social Action Groups (towards collective voice and action/collective bargaining) within strategic locations in informal settlements and low income neighborhoods from these centres {known as Homecare Hubs}.The Homecare Hubs are based in 10 of Nairobi’s low income neighborhoods’ name; Mathare, Mukuru Njenga, Mukuru Nyayo, Kangemi, Gatina, Kabiro, Kibera, Waruku, Githurai and Dandora. The trained domestic workers 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 registered into the Homecare Hub App (the social enterprise) to access job opportunities. The App is currently in its pilot phase and provides economic opportunity to domestic workers and care givers in Kenya. The hubs have an average membership of 35 for the 10 locations. 2 young women from each hub were identified and are in the process of having their capacities built as feminist leaders and mentors under Global Fund for Women's East African Young Women Leaders Initiative (EAYWLI).

Talia Anglers Girls Shelter
Talia Anglers Girls Shelter


Skills Training

Besides Skills Development/Capacity Building in Homecare Management, Home Nursing, Childcare, and Entrepreneurship, we also provide Labour or Employment Rights Education. Our training entails enabling the domestic workers to negotiate for decent terms of service. We also provide Life Skills & Reproductive Health Education, including sensitization on Family Planning, plus education on HIV/AIDS & SGBV prevention and intervention, and facilitating access to Guidance and Counseling on needs basis. Those enrolled go through a One month’s intensive training program (mainly residential) and contribute to their training through a payback system of installments.CDTD deliberatly removed the domestic workers training entry barriers and limited it to any participant over 18 years with willingness to join the program. CDTD also facilitates access to opportunities to continue with formal education for Domestic Workers who may have missed out, and who are interested in academic development. In line with CDTD’s motto “Educate a Girl, Build a Nation” the education component provides primary, secondary, tertiary and vocational training sponsorship for beneficiaries into the mainstream educational system from the shelter program. The shelter benefits approximately 80 beneficiaries annually. Life skills, labor rights, human rights, awareness creation activities relating to GBV, SRH etc. and community outreach are embedded across CDTD’s programs.

Employment/Job Placement

Graduates of the Domestic Workers Training Program get the opportunity to work through the Job Placement Service. Those seeking work are accommodated and provided with basic necessities as they await employment. In the past 3 years, more than 500 domestic workers were placed into permanent or temporary employment. The trained domestic workers are matched with the labor market opportunities through local job placements. Since CDTD inception, over 5,000 trainees have demonstrated increased economic reliance and independence as a result. CDTD is currently piloting its’ Homecare Hub App that connects domestic workers with employers in Nairobi and Kiambu countys. The digital act as a resource center for both domestic workers and employers as well as create diverse job opportunities for the traniees. CDTD graduates find work in: Private Households, Institutions (clinics, shools, daycare centres), Hotels, Corporate Offices and the Cleaning Industry.

Protection

At the core of CDTDs programming, is social protection. Domestic Workers are provided with accommodation during the time that they are training and also when they have cases pending determination i.e those with complaints. During job placement, CDTD assists Domestic Workers negotiate fair terms and conditions of employment so that they can secure work in safe environments. Prospective employers are interviewed and educated on the terms and conditions that govern CDTDs placement services. The terms and conditions are formulated to further protect Domestic Workers at the workplace and employers must consent to respecting the rules and regulations under which job placement is conducted. Aggrieved Domestic workers report abuse to the placement staff who in turn refers the case to CDTDs Labour Officer responsible for handling labour issues. CDTD is continuously working for an environment free of exploitation, harassment and abuse of Domestic Workers and has built a safety net for domestic workers where they can express themselves and learn from one another. CDTD also endavor to employ former domestic workers in its programs to ensure self-representation and mentorship.