Life Bloom Services International-LBSI.

Life Bloom Services International supports vulnerable women, girls and children (and a small component of males) in their journeys towards re discovering their lives' dreams, and empowers them to be able to journey towards turning their dreams into reality
Apr 22, 2013

Life Bloom continues to blossom

Over the last four months, under the direction of the Executive Director and founder, Catherine Wanjohi, Life Bloom has taken up tasks at a higher level, becoming active members of the Naivasha Sub County and Nakuru County committees in the areas where Life Blooms interventions are strong and recognized by the community and the government. 

Through these forums, Life Bloom is now engaged at advocacy level to influence policy implementation and/or change through the government and other partner's platforms. This direct engagement is creating more platforms for the sex workers and other abused women’s and children’s voices to have a collective impact. In this way, visibility of the organization and Wanjohi’s works are also increasing, and community and stakeholders’ participation is increasing.

Key among the leading committees and networks are:

  • Area Advisory Committee for children in the sub-county.
  • Advisory committee at the Probation Department committee
  • Children in schools committee for counseling
  • Girls committee and mentoring programs in Nakuru county

Life Bloom is involved in the following networks/committees:

  • Gender Based Networking group in Naivasha where we are in the executive committee
  • Human trafficking in persons in Naivasha
  • Peace networking group in Nakuru county 

Through the schools, the girls are empowered with peer mentor support skills. LBSI is the co-coordinator and in the executive committee of the Gender-based networking group in Naivasha. In the Area Advisory Committee and Probation department, LBSI offers counseling and helps in the re-integration of the survivors back to the family and society and follows-up in the progress either through the prison or community groups. 

Through this, some women beneficiaries of LBSI are finding space where they are able to not only share about their transformation, yet also share their thoughts about what they believe works best for other women 's transformation as opposed to the board room created projects by some government departments and other partners. Members of the community with the most knowledge of the issues are participating in designing the steps for more positive outcomes. Fiona, one of Life Bloom’s beneficiaries and currently a member of staff, is the coordinator on issues of child abuse and assists in arranging for their safe custody in safe shelters and for counseling and legal action.

We lacked quite a lot in the past in this kind of participation and visibility. We believe that this network building is one of the most profound developments in the last couple of months, and this will of course see Life Bloom rise to a level where we can be seen as qualifying for support from the funding organizations and maybe the government as well as we move on. 

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Dec 21, 2012

Happy Holidays from Life Bloom

LBSI photo collage
LBSI photo collage

Happy Holidays from Life Bloom Services International!

We invite you to view a video of Life Bloom's impact on Fiona Wanjiru, who you've read about in other project updates, and a message from Catherine Wanjohi on CitizenTV.

Read an inspiring story about Lucy Wambui, a beneficiary of Life Bloom and current Peer Counselor for Life Bloom.

We also invite you to view our holiday message hosted on Constant Contact.

In this season and in all the days throughout the year, we are grateful for your involvement with Life Bloom and count you among our family.

Warmest wishes to you this year, the next, and all to come.

Love, hope, and light,
Life Bloom Services International

"What Life Bloom's done...is nothing short of incredible!"
-Margo McAulie of Kenya Help (California)

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Nov 1, 2012

Visionary Sisters - Growing Networks

Nancy, Catherine, and Redempta
Nancy, Catherine, and Redempta

From the Executive Director, who visited Nancy of the Visionary Sister's group in mid-October:

To say that I was amazed would be an understatement. Nancy left the brothel on 3rd May 2012. She packed her clothes, left some behind, and left for an estate where she had rented a room.

Nancy never looked back. Her sister was running a shop then (she is younger than Nancy and is one of the reasons Nancy joined sex work, to pay school fees for her siblings). Nancy joined her sister at the shop, initially for a pay, but after a few months her sister got married and planned to move to another town to join her husband. Nancy was already plowing her savings into the shop alongside her sister. By August, the sister sold her business shares to Nancy. 

Today, Nancy's shop has stock amounting to about $295, every shelf has items for sale. She earns about $129 per month in profit, giving her a very decent life by any Kenyan standards. 

This is such a great breakthrough. Nancy wakes gets to the shop at 5:30am and leaves at about 10pm! I marveled at her warm customer care skills, her swiftness, her sharp focus, and great arithmetic skills (she got these skills in the 5 months she went to school with the other 5 women in the Visionary Sister's group).  Her current challenge is keeping records. We hope our partnership with Women Centers International will take care of this at the trainings and monitoring.

The attached photo was taken at her shop: Catherine is with Nancy and Redempta, who has become a photographer, and is taken outside Nancy's shop.

We are blessed.

Catherine Wanjohi
Executive Director
Life Bloom Services International-LBSI

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The Visionary Sisters are an outgrowth of Life Bloom Services International and are an example of the exemplary work that can be done by the women who LBSI trains for exit from sex work. Nancy had been trained through LBSI and brought others in her network along with her out of sex work.

The Visionary Sisters group members have regular meetings, and have recently been using the Internet to learn more about Women Enterprise Fund, the Government Department in the Ministry of Gender. Life Bloom has made progress to begin to work more cooperatively with the Ministry of Gender. 

Inventory in Nancy
Inventory in Nancy's shop

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