More than 10 years ago, we set out to accomplish something bold and ambitious: Uplift the lives of women in rural Kenya.
No one said it would be easy. It certainly hasn't been. There were times when we stumbled and we struggled. We didn't know if we'd be able to carry on. But we learned so much and grew as people and as an organization.
We got really good at what we do.
Today, we're a fixture in our community. It's not rare to have the Chief pop into our shop and tell us how proud he is of our work. Women's groups from around the country are learning about us and asking how they too can be part of Zawadisha. Women who just a few years ago felt destitute and uncertain about their futures now have a vibrant support system and quality of life to match.
Together, we can accomplish things no one thought was possible and we can change lives in unimaginable ways. Will you join us in uplifting the lives of these wonderful women?
THEY'VE GOT WHAT IT TAKES
AN IMPERFECT SUCCESS
Susan Nzilani is a mother of three who married early to a man who quickly became unfaithful and brought another woman into her home. Monica (our Chief of Operations in Kenya aka THE BOSS), being the smart woman she is, knew that Susan needed that roof over her head. When you have no where to go, you can't leave.
Monica advised her to join the Neema Women's Group and learn how to weave baskets. That way she wouldn't be all alone and she could earn a bit of money, start saving, and work toward changing her situation.
She joined the group and was trained on how to weave baskets by Jane. Now she sells her crafts to visitors when they come to Neema and earns money.
Her house fell down on the recent rains but the group is helping her rebuild it. Zawadisha is giving her a loan for iron sheets.
She is very happy she joined the Neema Women's Group and now is a part of Zawadisha. She is young and very hardworking. Through Zawadisha we know she will be the change maker in her house.
Amina Hassan is a mother of 11 children: five boys and six girls. She's also a grandmother to 20 children. Her children and grandchildren are her pride and joy and they have done well for themselves under their mother's guidance, attending school, building homes with windows and roofs, and tending to their shambas (small farms).
Amina is a very hardworking woman. She is separated from her husband who took on another wife (yes, there is a theme here). She single handedly paid for her children's school fees by making crafts, like the woven sisal baskets we sell, at the Neema Women Group.
She has taken several loans from Zawadisha including a water tank, iron sheets, chairs, and solar lights. We have seen her living situation improve, and that impact has flowed through the generations of her family.
This photo of her was taken just footsteps away from her small plot of land. She's proud to own her land where she tends to her farm and is building homes for her grandchildren.
Jane is a mother of six children, all of whom graduated from secondary school. When her children were young, her husband left the village with the promise of making more money. But that was very difficult and he didn't return home for three years.
She made the journey to Maungu, where she found him in an empty house. Then she learned about Zawadisha and saw an opportunity to change her life.
She sent for her children and took her first loan for a 1000 liter water tank. This was the beginning of a long journey, but now she has taken more than 10 loans for items like water tanks, solar lights, water filters, clean cookstoves, and a phone.
She also became a Trainer of Trainers (one of our initiatives to create jobs and train women on financial literacy, farming, and income generating activities) and is a skilled basket weaver.
She has turned her family's life around with a good house, good water storage, good lighting, and good money to boot.
A SNAPSHOT OF OUR 2023 IMPACT
LET'S LIGHT UP THEIR LIVES
$30: One loan for a solar lamp
The entire family will breathe easy knowing that no one has to inhale toxic fumes from kerosene lamps. At night children can do their homework and phones get charged, helping people stay better connected. And the financial savings from switching from kerosene to solar means more food on the table and funds toward school fees.
$60: One loan for a clean cookstove
Food is cooked more efficiently and safely when you ditch the three stones and fire for a clean cookstove. Mom and her daughters will spend less time spent searching for fuel and they won't have to breathe in the heavy smoke from fires. These efficient stoves save time and money for families.
$120: One loan for a water tank
Girls no longer have to spend six hours a day fetching water from the well. And with a water source at their house, Mom can grow food in her small kitchen garden to feed her family. Bonus: Whatever is left she can sell at local market. The entire family benefits from better hygiene, access to drinking water, and less food scarcity.
The Fine Print
Zawadisha is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible. You will receive a receipt via email upon donating and if you leave your phone number, Monica will call you personally to thank you (be on the lookout for that +254 area code). If you donate $100 or more, please include a valid address in your donation and we will ship you one beautiful basket from our collection.