Feddis runs a food kiosk in Colorado market and she is a small scale farmer too. She has been able to beat the odds of being poor and marginalized to become one of the community leaders in Mwakirunge ward rising against the prevalent patriarchal culture which leads people to believe that a woman cannot be a leader. Currently she is a member of Ujeri Uhumike Community Based Organization (CBO) and Usafi ni Uhai CBO. She is also the coordinator of Sauti ya Wanawake Colorado chapter and Sauti ya Wanawake umbrella chapter. She is the chairlady for ACK Colorado and also the chair of Digirikani Parent teacher Association (PTA). She is also a member of the board of management of Bararani secondary school.
“I got married just after dropping out of school in form three and became a wife. I used to run my small food kiosk with no time to attend community meetings because I had not seen the importance of participating in community meetings. In 2012, I decided to attend the meeting organized by ActionAid Kenya that was an eye opener for me and other women in our village. We realized that for a long time we were not aware of our rights and men took advantage of our ignorance to deny us what was rightfully ours,’’ says Feddis.
Through reflect circles and trainings by ActionAid Kenya, women have been trained on rights and leadership skills.
‘‘I saw the need to go back to secondary school so that I could finish and get at least a certificate. With ActionAid’s encouragement I enrolled back to school and it took me two years to complete. This has opened so many doors for me and I now have the basic minimum requirement to vie for a ward level political seat. It still hurts me when a potential woman in this community is locked out of leadership circles just because they have no formal education or a certificate to show for it, ’’says Feddis.
Feddis is facing challenges because the Mwakirunge community is still patriarchal and women leadership has not been fully embraced. However she has started campaigning targeting women circles and the youth.
‘‘I am truly thankful to ActionAid for opening my eyes and I can now confidently compete with men because I have been trained on how to conduct agenda or issue based campaigns. For sure I am ready for the challenge, ” says Feddis.