Domestic Workers Transformation Project
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
Domestic Workers and other disadvantaged youths are reached through existing community structures i.e 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.
Through our homecare management courses we offer domestic workers with the relevant skills to be better placed professionally in domestic work. The Homecare Management Short Course is the first step in helping Domestic Workers obtain professional skills in Homecare Management. Entry requirements are few i.e 18 years of age and above and a willingness to join the program are mandatory requirements. The removal of entry barriers is deliberate and is aimed at ensuring that as many youths as possible gain access to the program. Those enrolled go through a One month’s intensive training program (mainly residential) and contribute to their training through a payback system of installments.
- Laundry Work
- Home Nursing & First Aid
Support Areas (Mandatory)
- Sexual & Reproductive Health
- Labour & Industrial Relations
- Computer Applications
Literacy and Continuing Education – optional for those who cannot read or write and those who wish to sit for National Examinations.
Our trainees undertake professional training at the East African Institute of Homecare Management
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. They have already been trained on how to bargain decent terms and conditions of employment and can therefore enter into negotiations with prospective employers. CDTD graduates find work in: Private Households, Institutions (clinics, shools, daycare centres), Hotels, Corporate Offices and the Cleaning Industry.
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 carrying 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.
In 2003 CDTD engaged with the Kenya Institute of Education (now Centre for Curriculum Development and Research) to develop a curriculum for training of Domestic Workers. For its work 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 success of the ILO Convention on Domestic Work, CDTD has been engaging with employers to create awareness on the rights of Domestic Workers. 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.
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 inturn refers the case to CDDTDs 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. The CDTD employs former domestic workers in its program to ensure self-representation and mentorship.