Ann comes from a very poor household and Karibuni sponsored her throughout her education via the Marimanti Women & Children Programme, Tharaka. Following Secondary School she went on to qualify as a seamstress at Marimanti Youth Polytechnic.
However, having qualified she could not find employment and instead she volunteered without payment at the Polytechnic, coaching students.
Visiting Karibuni Tr ustees met her at the Polytechnic and were impressed by her dedication and her vision which was to set up in business on her own. Following that visit Karibuni provided a grant of 20,000 Kenyan shillings (about £150) to Ann and the same sum to two other graduating Polytechnic students to enable them to purchase equipment.
George Mwabu, the Tharaka Programme Co-ordinator, wrote about Ann receiving the money:
“Ann Gakii, is still helping the new trainees as a volunteer at Marimanti youth polytechnic. She is an ambitious and patient lady. She has received a support of Kshs. 20,000/-. We window-shopped with her to decide on what to buy but up to date we have not – the money is still intact. She has a vision of establishing a a business within Marimanti where she could be even attaching other trainees from training for experience building. However, at the moment she couldn’t. a model machine we sported is costing 18,900/- and the remaining balance is too small to buy anything else of substance. As a volunteer at the polytechnic, she is not salaried. Therefore, she opted not to buy the machine and keep it idle but rather be patient as she even lobby from other sources to extra support to set a house after the acquisition of a machine.
On the items she needs as a matter of priority are; A Knitting machine, a house rent (Stall market) at the rate of Kshs. 3,500/- for like 6 months for the business to pick, Business permit fee of 2,550/- and other minor assortments of like 10,000/- for start-up. However, the lady is ambitious and whenever I talk to her she reminds me that she will at one time own a business at Marimanti irrespective of the poor background she come from.”
After hearing of this, a Karibuni supporter agreed to sponsor Ann and the additional funds were provided. Ann proceeded to set up in business and since then she has gone from strength to strength.
In a tender exercise she won the contract to supply school uniforms to the sponsored children in the Tharaka project. When Karibuni Childrenees last visited her she had named her business Karibuni Uniforms Shop.