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Jun 13, 2018

Graduation day has finally arrived for some of our young women.

Graduation
Graduation

After a very long 12 months of hard work, sacrifice and long periods away from their families in Samburu our ladies have graduated. There was a great deal of excitement in the week leading up to graduation but on the day of graduation many tears of joy and sadness were shed as we all came to the realization that this brave group of women and their beautiful children, who had become part of our family for the past 12 months would be leaving us for good. 

As the certificates were awarded each student made a very moving speech, expressing how much their lives had changed during the time they were with us, how much they have learned and how very grateful they were to be given this life-changing opportunity...More tears...followed by beautiful singing, dancing, and celebration.

During the 12 months this group was with us they not only learned every aspect of tailoring, our volunteers also taught basic computer skills which included preparing individual resumes, creating an email account and sending an email with an attachment. I know this sounds very mundane to us, but the ladies had not sat at a computer when they first arrived. By the time they left, they were quite confident and always eager to take their turn at the laptops.

We still have 8 ladies living with us who will graduate in December. Next month a new group will also join us for 12 months. All of this is possible because of you and your very generous and continued support.  Empowering one woman not only makes it possible for her to feed, support and educate her family, the trickle-down effect will continue for future generations.

If you would like to continue to help us support the ladies, please spread the word by sharing this report on your Facebook page.

Asante Sana, thank you so very much.

Jennifer Hughes-Bystrom

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Computer class
Computer class
Our most recent donation, a Janome sewing machine
Our most recent donation, a Janome sewing machine
Study time
Study time
Frieda learning & loving the new Janome  machine.
Frieda learning & loving the new Janome machine.

Links:

Jun 13, 2018

Graduation day has finally arrived for some of our young women.

Charity preparing her resume.
Charity preparing her resume.

After a very long 12 months of hard work and sacrifice, our young ladies have graduated. There was a great deal of excitement in the week leading up to graduation but on the day of graduation, many tears of joy and sadness were shed as we all came to the realization that this brave group of young women who had become part of our family for the past 12 months would be leaving us for good. As the certificates were awarded each student made a very moving speech, expressing how much their lives had changed during the time they were with us, how much they have learned and how very grateful they were to be given this life-changing opportunity...More tears...followed by beautiful singing, dancing, and celebration.

During the 12 months this group was with us they not only learned every aspect of tailoring, our volunteers also taught basic computer skills which included preparing individual resumes, creating their own personal email account and sending an email with an attachment. I know this sounds very mundane to most of us, but the ladies had not touched a computer when they first arrived. With shaking hands and sweaty palms, the young women were introduced to a whole new and exciting experience that would not only be a huge confidence builder for them, it would also be a great help when setting up and running their own business. By the time they left, they were quite confident and always eager to take their turn at the laptops.

We still have 8 ladies living with us who will graduate in December. Next month a new group will also join us for 12 months. All of this is possible because of you and your very generous and continued support. Empowering one woman not only makes it possible for her to feed, support and educate her family, the trickle-down effect will continue for many future generations.

If you would like to continue to help us support the ladies, please spread the word by sharing this report on your Facebook page.

Asante Sana, thank you so very much.

Jennifer Hughes-Bystrom

Graduation
Graduation
Frieda learning & loveing the new Janome  machine.
Frieda learning & loveing the new Janome machine.
Computer Class
Computer Class
Study time
Study time

Links:

Mar 20, 2018

Graduation is three months away.

The ladies are so proud of their accomplishments.
The ladies are so proud of their accomplishments.

In June our 2017/18 tailoring class will graduate. Our ladies will be fully prepared for a life they would have never dreamed possible if it wasn't for you and your continued support. Our ladies will have a trade and the skills to be able to feed, support and educate their children.

I would like to share a couple of our student's stories as I know you will feel very proud and privileged to be part of the amazing opportunities our ladies have been blessed with.

Caroline

Caroline is one of 7 children. Her family depends on casual agricultural labor to feed the family. They live in mud houses which are common Samburu shelters. Access to clean water was a constant challenge while Caroline was growing up. The girls would have to walk long distances to collect water, often missing school. Often during her childhood, the family couldn't afford a daily meal, so the children went without food. (These conditions have not changed for Caroline's family) Caroline arrived in June 2017 with her 6-month-old daughter, Sharleen. Due to her poor background, Sharleen was born underweight.  When Caroline arrived the first thing we did was take them both in for the first check-up Carolina and baby Sharleen had ever had. Due to her malnourished state, the baby was put on a protein supplement formula. Caroline has blossomed as a result of receiving 3 healthy meals a day and Sharleen has developed into a happy, healthy baby girl.

Agnes

Agnes was born into a family of eight children. Agnes dropped out of school in form three (primary) after her parents were not able to pay her school fees. Agnes was married at age 14 after dropping out of school and has four children. Agnes burns firewood to sell charcoal to support her family. She also does casual labor. They live in a semi-permanent mud house with no piped water and electricity. As for bedding, they use cardboard as mattresses and bed sheets. In her rural village, Agnes has to walk 3 hours to fetch 20 liters of water.

Both ladies villages are in close proximity to Maralal, the crossroad for trade in Samburu. Upon graduation, the ladies will return to their rural area. They are planning on getting a microfinance loan from
WOMEN ENTERPRISE FUND (WEF)  School uniforms are mandatory in Kenya, so a steady source of income will be supplying the local schools and boarding schools in the district as well as repairs and dressmaking from their Maralal based business.

As well as tailoring our students have learned valuable business, money management, and healthy lifestyle skills from the volunteers who have visited and shared their knowledge during their training. As they approach the final quarter of their twelve-month long training with us the ladies are eager to begin the next, exciting phase of their new life.

Thank you so much for your support and making this all possible.

Warmest regards,

Jennifer Hughes-Bystrom

Learning how to make school uniforms
Learning how to make school uniforms
Our first three months of training.
Our first three months of training.
Our first quarterly assessment test.
Our first quarterly assessment test.

Links:

 
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