Tag: Kenya

‘I will make it better’; Sifa’s Decision to Start a Business Changes Everything

Sifa felt trapped. Weighed down with responsibilities and limitations, she didn’t know what to do to lift her family out of poverty. Her four children were undernourished, but the local community discouraged women from contributing to their families by making an income.

“There is nothing more we could do or change,” Sifa said. “I wished for so many things that were just a fairy tale at the time.”

Things changed after Sifa discovered Convoy of Hope’s Women’s Empowerment initiative.

“I was surprised at how blinded I was! I didn’t know that I could be anything I wanted to be, change my husband’s perception, help my family to be better, and see beyond. After my first class, I got out of there with one thing in my mind: I will make it better.”

She did. And Convoy of Hope was with her every step of the way.

Sifa started her own business selling Maasai blankets. She quickly made enough profit to start another business, this time selling sugar. Then those two businesses did so well that she started selling rice.

“I manage all this because Convoy of Hope didn’t just train us, they go with us all the way,” Sifa said. “I couldn’t afford to buy my children new clothes. Now, I can even buy gifts for my husband and I can afford clothes and shoes for my kids. My husband became supportive, understanding, loving.”

Sifa now plans to buy a sewing machine so she can make her own custom merchandise and sell it at a better price. She’s feeding her children herself, her marriage is better, and her community has even started to change because of the example she is setting.

That’s the power of hope. Thank you for the part you play in empowering women like Sifa.

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Program Updates / Women's Empowerment

After Years of drought, Kenyan Villages have Clean Water

The music was blaring, people were singing and dancing, and smiles were abundant. It was a fitting celebration for this Kenyan village, which for the first time in years, has a source of clean water.

Throughout Kenya, similar celebrations ensued where Convoy of Hope drilled boreholes — similar to wells — and installed systems that hold up to 6 million gallons of water. For many, these celebrations mark the end of a dark era, one that began in 2016 during severe drought.

“The cycle of drought in Kenya has been getting tighter and tighter through the years,” Chris Dudley, Convoy of Hope’s Stabilization & Humanitarian Intervention Director, said. “Drought used to happen once every 10 or 15 years, but now it’s happening every few years.”

In recent years, Kenyan families have watched their cattle wither away. For these people, lack of water meant no irrigation, no viability for livestock, and no way to provide for their families.

“Shortly after [one catchment system] was built, there were several days of rain that almost filled it,” Chris said. “This water was used for several months to help keep livestock alive and to irrigate small farms. For many pastoralist communities, their livestock is their currency, so helping keep [them] alive is huge.”

Like water, hope changes shape from time to time. Both are vital. For people affected by the drought in Kenya, hope comes in the form of a sustainable water source and is provided as a direct result of support from people like you.

While this crisis persists, we will continue to provide help and hope to people in need. To join us in our mission, click here.

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Agriculture / Field Story

Empowered Girls Keep Good Company

Part of life for many people living in Nairobi’s urban neighborhoods is fetching water. Often, there is a single standpipe for dozens of families where people line up with their jerrycans.

Julie is 12 years old. For her, that daily chore makes life harder. “When you go to fetch water, there are people who sit around and abuse others,” she says.

Fortunately, Julie is part of Convoy of Hope’s Girls’ Empowerment program, which helps girls learn about life skills and nutrition so that they can thrive. On a recent Thursday afternoon, the classroom erupted in cheer when the Convoy of Hope teacher, Favour, entered. It was a large room split in two by a paperboard partition — the sixth graders faced west and the fourth graders faced east. Favour led the older students in a game that had them howling with laughter. Then, they reviewed what they’d learned from the previous session on time management: Have a timetable. Avoid the bed and sofa because they make you lazy. Make deadlines. Don’t let work pile up. Set goals.

The lessons from the program help students like Julie cope with difficult environments. While she lives with both parents in a safe apartment building and goes to a good school, her environment still can be tough. She says something she has learned from Girls’ Empowerment is the importance of keeping good company and avoiding bad company. This is a helpful lesson at the standpipe, at school, and everywhere else she might go in life.

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Makena Goes To The Market

Makena starts her day at the Ewuaso Market in her home country of Kenya. Metal saucepans reflect the beams of sunlight peeking through the shade trees above as neatly packaged bowls, cups, and cooking utensils line tables at her quiet corner store. She laughs and smiles with friends from the community.

But Makena knows struggle.

Just eight months ago, she was staying at home to care for seven of her 10 children. Barely able to provide enough food for her family, she was in desperate need of a second chance. A second chance — like the one she found in Convoy of Hope’s Micro+ program. 

Since completing Micro+, Makena started her own business to provide for her large family. Now, instead of staying home, Makena sells household goods and kitchenware at three weekly markets.

While a lot has changed for Makena and her family, one change stands out the most. “Now there’s plenty of food,” she says with a smile. 

Your kindness has helped break the chains of poverty for Makena and her family. Thank you for empowering women like Makena and providing second chances to families around the world.

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Women's Empowerment