Maasai women in Taveta, Taita-Taveta county are hoping for a better future thanks to a liquid soap-making project.
More than 150 women in the remote villages of Orkungu, Njoro, Jipe and Salaita have started making and marketing the liquid soap.
The project has enabled the women break down cultural boundaries and inspire a new generation of girls.
Most of the women in the area are uneducated but are optimistic that through the project, they will ensure their daughters get educated to break the cycle of early marriages.
Known for their distinct traditions, Maasai men herd cattle and act as principal decision-makers while the women are married off at an early age and put in charge of running their households. Pastoralism has been the primary means of livelihood for the Maasai for centuries.
The women fully depend on their husbands to provide for their families and are considered inferior to men and, therefore, have to abide by their directives.
The women from the four villages have so far undergone training where they have been introduced to the soap-making venture to sell locally and outside Taveta sub-county to generate the much-needed income.
One of the beneficiaries, Ms Mary Kimpampi, said their men will start respecting them now that they contribute financially to their families.
"Our husbands will start respecting us, as opposed to now because we depend on them for everything," she said.
Ms Teresiah Tomoina said the soap-making project will benefit the women since most of them have never received any formal education.
The widespread illiteracy among the women has posed a challenge. Ms Tomoina said such projects will build financial understanding and grow the capacity of the women to run profitable enterprises.
"We are now empowered. We also don't want to continue looking to men to solve our problems," she said.
"We are facing increased pressure of household responsibilities because we fully depend on our husbands. That is why we are embracing this venture because we will be able to feed our families," she said.
The liquid soap, which is packaged in recycled water bottles, can be used for cleaning clothes and utensils as well as for handwashing.
As a community change leader, Mr Morris Mutiso, has been fighting to improve the lives of residents by empowering them socially and economically.
Mr Mutiso has also been sensitising the locals to challenge cultural beliefs and practices that are preventing the community from improving their lives.
Mr Mutiso also supports the Maasai women to explore other income-generating activities, such as buying plastic chairs which they hire out for events in their villages.
"I aim to empower these women so that they can transform their lives. We don't want a situation where politicians come and ask them for their votes and forget about them once campaigns end," he said.