Real estate developer, Gateway Real Estate Africa (GREA), has handed over a donation of Ksh. 4,328,000 ($40,000) to Buildher Kenya. Buildher, a non-profit operation, was founded in 2018 to equip disadvantaged women in Kenya with accredited construction skills.

Buildher is the only female focused organization registered to sit for the prestigious National Industrial Training Authority exams.

Commenting on the donation, GREA co-founder and CEO, Greg Pearson commented, “We are very proud to be a funder to Buildher and I hope this is the start of a long relationship. The empowerment of women in the construction sector is something we feel very strongly about, as reflected by the large number of females in our senior management team. The excellent work done by Buildher in equipping women with the right professional and life skills not only play a huge role in breaking down gender barriers but supports the long-term sustainability of our industry.”

On her part, Buildher Kenya co-founder and CEO, Tatu Gatere remarked, “Buildher develops artisans at a higher skill level in a shorter period of time. Our trainees surpass entry level industry standards that contribute to higher quality, productivity and increased efficiencies. In addition, they learn valuable life skills including communication, fitness, and mental health to ensure work readiness. Collaboration is central to the success of our model. Our employer partners are pioneers who recognize the multiple socio-economic benefits of an inclusive workforce.”

Buildher trainees consists of women aged 17 to 40 years and include all women from disadvantaged neighborhoods located in Nairobi’s Eastlands. The training program lasts for 12 months with new courses starting every year to allow for a systematic advancement through the technical skills curriculum. This includes carpentry and joinery, painting and decorating.

Each cohort enrollment accommodates 30 women. Each cohort undergoes approximately 4 months of learning trade skills before being placed at pre-approved employees for two to eight months of training in a live working environment.

Buildher’s trainers comprise professionals with educational and industry experience. An impact team collects data and a dedicated placement team ensures candidates are successfully placed with employer partners.

Research has shown that after 4 months of training, cohorts report an increase in income of 520% on average. Employers report a 67% increase in productivity and 60% have changed their policies to incorporate gender, sexual harassment, and dignified pay.

“I am very proud to say that most of the team members in GREA are women leading managerial, operational and technical teams, including the Chief Operating Officer, development managers, quantity surveyors and construction managers. Our involvement with Buildher not only supports women who support women but underscores our ethos of adding value to the economies and communities in which we operate,” Pearson concluded.