Kenya

Meet Our Members | Florence Katiwa

“We’ve now gotten multiple avenues to be able to advance, so it can get nothing but better” [CLICK TO TWEET]


Z: Please tell us a little about yourself and your family -- where did you grow up, do you have brothers/sisters, how many children do you have now...

F: I was born and raised in Machakos in a house of 2 kids from my immediate parents. My father later remarried, and had 6 other kids, bringing the total to 8 kids. I also schooled in Machakos. I got married in Shinda Hills. Eventually my husband wanted his own land, and bought land in Marungu. We then moved and have lived here ever since. I have four kids.

 

Z: What is your most memorable experience as a child?

F: When we were kids, we were playing outside in a compound that was made up of homes with grass thatched roofs. While we were playing, we decided to play around with fire. One of the kids threw the stick upwards that had some fire, and it landed on the house that stored all our food, which of course went up in flames. When our parents returned, we were severely beaten, and I have never forgotten that.

 

Z: What has changed in your village/Kenya since you were a young girl?

F: Education. People did not place focus on education for female students. Not so much anymore.

 

Z: Now that you are a grown woman, what is the one thing that you are most proud of?

F: I a proud of having being married and having a homestead to call my own, and that I am able to manage my homestead. I go back home to my own place.

 

Z: What brings you joy?

F: The progress that Zawadisha brings us.

 

Z: What does the future look like for you, your family, and your community?

F: It will be easier and better than it has been. We’ve now gotten multiple avenues to be able to advance, so it can get nothing but better.

 

Z: What do you want other people to know about you, your family, and/or your community?

F: To know how much me and my life have changed due to joining a group.

 

Z: If you could change one thing in this world, what would it be?

F: If I could go back and be a child again, I would push myself through studying. I have learned too late about the importance of education.

Meet Our Members | Devota Mwambingu

“I am proud of the fact that I am able to stand for myself, on my own,” Devota, Zawadisha member. [TWEET THIS]

Meet Devota, who since joining Zawadisha, has been able to stand for herself and explore multiple avenues to be able to help her family and community grow. Take a moment to read how her life has changed--the return on what seems like a small investment will amaze you.

 

Z: Please tell us a little about yourself and your family -- where did you grow up, do you have brothers/sisters, how many children do you have now, what tribe do you belong to.

D: I was born and raised in Mugange which is close to Voi. i studied up until Standard 8, then i got married immediately after that. After i got married, i moved to Itinyi. I have 5 kids.

 

Z: What is your most memorable experience as a child?

D: My father was driving a trailer, got into an accident, and broke his leg. He had to have mental placed into his leg. I remember that because it was at this point that our home family life drastically changed. Life became harder because we now had to depend on my mother.

 

Z: What has changed in Kenya since you were a young girl?

D: The growth in groups which have helped us. We are able to take more risks financially and explore multiple avenues to be able to help our family grow and become more stable.

 

Z: Now that you are a grown woman, what is the one thing that you are most proud of?

D: I am proud of the fact that i am able to stand for myself, on my own. Even if my husband decided to leave, I would now be stuck. I know that the lessons have learned have allowed me to know that i could stand on my own if I needed to.

 

Z: What brings you joy?

D: Progress. Overall progress of my family and of the community.

 

Z: What does the future look like for you, your family, and your community?

D: As i continue to send my kids to school, i see a future for them, and for me that means all of them have completed school.

 

Z: What do you want other people to know about you, your family, and/or your community?

D: That the women in groups have advanced and are able to make a lasting impact, as opposed to those not in groups.

 

Z: If you could change one thing in this world, what would it be?

D: That the governments would revise education policies and allow children to study for free, which would give lots of children greater access to school.

Meet Our Members | Jane Nziva

“I am proud that I am able to support myself. I have sent my children through school on my own” - Jane, Zawadisha Loan Recipient [TWEET THIS]

 

Meet Jane, a Zawadisha loan recipient who has been able to make dramatic changes for herself and for her family since joining Zawadisha. Take a moment to read how her life has changed--the return on what seems like a small investment will amaze you.

 

Z: Please tell us a little about yourself and your family -- where did you grow up, do you have brothers/sisters, how many children do you have now, what tribe do you belong to...

J: I was born in Machakos to a family of nine, but there are currently only six of us left. I have six children. I studied up until Class 7, then left school to help my family. I got married in Machakos, then moved to Itinyi, Maungu.

 

Z: What is your most memorable experience as a child?

J: I loved going to church and general church activities although it was uncommon at that time due to the focus on other traditional religious activities. My parents disagreed with me going to church, but i still went anyway, and they eventually converted. The lessons I learned then have guided me through my my adult years.

 

Z: What has changed in your village or in Kenya since you were a young girl?

J: Life back then was hard because there were no groups which helped women and the community band together. The groups have helped me grow.

 

Z: Now that you are a grown woman, what is the one thing that you are most proud of?

J: I am proud that I am able to support myself. I have sent my children through school own my own. Through Zawadisha trainings, I am now able to stand in front of a crowd of people and teach them.

 

Z: What brings you joy?

J: The change in my husband in regards to his openness to groups. He has come to realize that in order for us to keep going forward, he would need to be open to me going to group meetings, and he even helps me at home when I need to have a meeting.

 

Z: What does the future look like for you, your family, and your community?

J: I see continued education, knowledge on proper loan procedures, and saving money. Zawadisha to continue the work they are doing.

 

Z: What do you want other people to know about you, your family, and/or your community?

J: To know how much my life has changed. I have been able to build, and I have sent my children to school.

 

Z: If you could change one thing in this world, what would it be?

J: I want to continue to increase awareness on how important it is for women to join groups worldwide for increased growth. And also for them not to ignore their children’s education as a means to eliminate poverty.

Meet The Team | Monica Mwende

"I want others to know about the work that I am doing in the community to help the girls.”-- Monica Mwende, Zawadisha loan recipient and team member [TWEET THIS]

Meet Monica, a Zawadisha loan recipient and member of Zawadisha's Kenya-based staff, who has been able to make dramatic changes for herself and for her family since receiving a loan. Take a moment to see what she's doing--the return on what seems like a small investment will amaze you.

Z: Please tell us a little about yourself and your family -- where did you grow up, do you have brothers/sisters, how many children do you have now, what tribe do you belong to...
M: I identify with kiKamba, which is my mother's tribe. I am an only child. I grew up in Mombasa and went to school there. I later relocated to Maungu with my husband. I have 3 children, one son and two daughters.

 

Z: What has changed in your village/Kenya since you were a young girl?
M: Things were much cheaper when i was growing up. The economy doesn't seem to be that good anymore. People can't afford that anymore. Even back then when people didn't have enough money, they always seemed to have just enough. Now, it never seems to be quite enough. The level of education has also changed significantly. Back then, a class 8 level could find a job to support his/her family. Now, not even finishing undergraduate degree can get you a job.

 

Z: Now that you are a grown woman, what is the one thing that you are most proud of?
M: I am proud of my children.

 

Z: What brings you joy?
M: To see many more girls in school, and women being empowered, and not having to depend on their husbands.

 

Z: What does the future look like for you, your family, and your community?
M: I see myself and my family at such a different place than we are now. My kids will have all finished school and gotten good jobs. I also see more women continuing to be empowered, and especially financially.

 

Z: What do you want other people to know about you, your family, and/or your community?
M: I want others to know about the work that I am doing in the community to help the girls. I want them to know about the issues that the girls in the community are facing; lack of sanitary pads and panties when they need them the most because they cannot afford them. This means they have to frequently miss school. This is a huge problem in the schools here in this community. I want to eventually open a camp for the girls, as well as one for the boys that will teach them how to end GBV (Gender Based Violence), how to respect women, and to know that showing emotion does not mean that they are weak as they are currently being taught.

 

Z: If you could change one thing in this world, what would it be?
M: I would want men and women, girls and boys to switch genders for a year so that each side could really truly understand what it really is like to be us. This will help us truly understand each other.