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
Oct 20, 2015

Local fundraising for water and electricity

Dinner photo and thank you
Dinner photo and thank you

We held our dinner on the 9th Oct in a hotel called Panorama in Naivasha. Our VIP guest was Lucia Kinuthia, who was also at the centre of putting this event together. Mrs. Kinuthia commissioned the Women One Stop Canter on September 5, 2014 and is considered our Patron of Life Bloom. However, due to a family emergency, she was unable to make it. Her husband, the Governor of Nakuru County, came in her sted. 

Security was enhanced, the Naivasha based Members of County Assembly began trickling in, and the Governor Mbugua Kinuthia arrived at 7pm. He was accompanied by three members of county assembly, the County Secretary, and the County Secretary's wife.

Two of Life Bloom's Peer Mentors -- Esther from Naivasha and Caro from Nairobi -- shared their experiences in sex work, their choice to join Life Bloom, and the story of their transformation.

Esther, a primary school drop out who is now an administrator with a local NGO, moved the audience to tears. Esther is a beneficiary of the computers skills training sponsored through the Global Women Fund in 2010.

Caro is a young woman who joined the Entrepreneurship and Leadership class in Nairobi in 2013. The first time Catherine Wanjohi, the Founder and CEO of LBSI, met her was in class; their eyes held and both knew they had a shared history. Caro was Catherine's student when she was a high school principal, which Caro disclosed in front of her classmates.

The Governor asked the two mentors to reach out to him through Life Bloom if they needed support to advance their studies. He gave them each a token of appreciation. He praised the work of Life Bloom in alleviating poverty in the county, asked the Minister for Education, who he had brought along, to work with Catherine Wanjohi to develop a proposal and submit to the county. The event raised around $2,600 USD. 

Since the fundraiser, two of Life Bloom mentors' children have bursaries for their education (sponsorship) through the County Assembly and two LBSI mentors have been interviewed for jobs at the hotel where the event was held (the manager stayed on throughout the event and was moved by the two mentors sharing). The women guests present (all of them professional women) requested for a brainstorming meeting to strategize on how to become more involved.

Mrs. Kinuthia told Catherine excitedly the following morning, "Catherine, we have the governor on our side, lets move it!" The journey has only begun.

In Gratitude,

Catherine Wanjohi

Jun 15, 2015

Art Therapy Skills for Peer Mentors

Sharing time
Sharing time
The Life Bloom's Women One Stop Center (WOSC) in Naivasha was full of life and laughter on Tuesday, May 26th. Twenty-two Senior Mentors, three women representing Life Bloom's local collaborators, and a trainer from San Francisco gathered to learn skills on how to use art for therapy.
The mentors have a background in counseling skills, and the training served as a basis to broaden their skills and leart to utilize more conventional methods and build on the traditional methods. Takako, an Art Therapist  from San Francisco facilitated the training.
The training took place in one of the completed classrooms at the Women One Stop Center, which was commissioned in September 2014.

Share photos - - Testimony after testimony was shared. Among the mentors, the painful past now serves as tools to teach others. The past lives of the majority of participants is punctuated by experiences of abuse, violence, rejection and discrimination. Many of the women were surprised at how they were able to interpret the drawings they made. They made a commitment to meet every two months to share the progress of their use of the skills, learn more, and also to learn how to teach their children to use this skill. Many of the participants disclosed that most of their children were not good at expressing themselves, especially when they had challenges in life. This skill could be helpful if nurtured.

Work Station Photo - Wanjiru (in pink top) explains to some participants how the building blocks are used to build houses and water harvesting tanks and save as much as 40% of construction expenses. The blocks (or bricks, as they are commonly known here) are made by a group of women at Life Bloom and are also sold to help cover expenses for LBSI. Art therapy facilitator, Takako, at right. 
Tea time - Any surface is a place to sit and enjoy a cup of tea during the health break. LBSI is still raising funds for the second story of the Women One Stop Center

Group photo - Life Bloom is known in Naivasha as a place where people (women) laugh and cry, sometimes at the same time, without feeling embarrassed.
LBSI Staff - 
Standing right, Trizer Musya: accounts officer and administration. Trizer is also in charge of the women in jail project.
Sitting right, Wanjiru Ngigi: Programs Coordinator incharge of Enterpreneurship and vocational skills training and anti-gender based violence interventions.
Sitting left, Phylis Nduta: in charge of all home based interventions for our clients and coordinates interventions for people experiencing multiple stigma situations (an individual woman sometimes is a survivor of rape, is HIV positive, a broken marriage, cancer survivor, has no job and has a background in sex work).
Standing left, Catherine Wanjohi: Life Bloom's CEO and at operations level is in charge of Leadership skills training (Mentoring), supporting the multiple stigma situations, liaison, and fundraising.
Missing in the pic is Sakina Said, in charge of rescue operations, interventions for children and coordinating interventions for HIV and other related conditions. 
This team continues to be dedicated to support women and girls back to finding their dignity. Your help and support continues to be vital to the work that LBSI does. 
Current cost estimates for a security system to allow for the second floor to be built: 
Fence and gate   $7471
Electricity (power) connection $2299
Piped water connection $1724 
2 rescue cottages and furnishing $9186
Total: $20680
Thank you in advance for any support you may be able to provide. 
Art Therapy Share
Art Therapy Share
Work Station
Work Station
Tea time
Tea time
Group photo in front of LBSI
Group photo in front of LBSI
LBSI staff (partial group)
LBSI staff (partial group)
Mar 12, 2015

Education: A key component to LBSI success

Post exam
Post exam

Not only does LBSI retrain (mainly) women who are in sex work into other trades, they also work with women to return to school and work toward completing their education. In December, two women receiving LBSI services sat for their exams. 

Naomi W - Life Bloom rescued Naomi from a very abusive marriage in 2012 that she entered at the age of 17. When she was seven, her mother died and she was left orphaned. She dropped out of school at that time when she was at class 3. She was a mother by the age of 14. Through LBSI, Naomi received counselling, leadership training, and mentoring. Many people have supported her course to support her two children and to receive an education. Naomi says, "I thank God for this far he has brought me, and for giving me wonderful people who have stood with me on hard and tough times in my life: for putting a smile on my face, happiness on my children's life, for giving me a chance to be part of their lives. .....With 260 marks, I hope to pursue high school education....thank you thank you and thank you."
Esther -  Esther is a child of a single mother, living within Naivasha. When she realized that she could not go on with her high school education - she was then at Form 2 - she made a rather dangerous choice of sourcing for school fees. She stole from a neighbour's house items that she sold to raise the fee needed. She landed in prison. But she took her dream with her to prison, and shared it with the prison officer who immediately begun to look for help. Esther sat her KCPE and scored an A- grade of 379 marks. Her story of success was aired by Kenyan national television. 
Since sitting for the exam, Esther has been allowed to complete her jail term out of prison. Esther looks forward to joining high school. Esther is the first candidate to sit for national examinations from Naivasha women prison. The officer in charge shared with Catherine (LBSI Founder) that many more of the prisoners now want to register for national exams.
This is real: everything is possible! Any one's dreams are valid, no matter who or where we are. 
Join us in our activities in 2015. We appreciate your continued interest in LBSI and support in completing the LBSI building of the One Stop Center. 
 

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