Michael Acton and Kara Wevers are students who traveled throughout Africa and visited a number of GlobalGiving projects. On March 24th they visited "Uplifting Teen Mothers in Kenya." When asked what they would tell their friends about this project, they said: “Great: They are making a difference."
Stella Amojong, the managing director of Grassroots Empowerment Initiative (GEMINI), is an intelligent, motivated woman. When I met with her, I was impressed by her focus, her drive, and – most of all – her gentle and humble spirit. She started GEMINI to address the problem of teenage motherhood, and has expanded the organization to include counseling and screening for HIV/AIDs, vocational training for teen mothers, and assistance and support for “grandmothers” taking care of orphaned children.
While in Eldoret, I was able to go to their offices, meet their staff, visit the teen moms who are being trained in tailoring and baking, and talk with the older women taking care of the orphans. Each group was extremely grateful for GEMINI and the impact Stella has made on their lives. The grandmothers especially warmed my heart, since they each wanted to give me a hug and asked me to sincerely thank the GlobalGiving donors for helping them support their families. So, on behalf of each of them, thank you, donors to GEMINI!
We met up with Stella in GEMINI's Eldoret office. It was in a small office building with offices where they offer HIV testing and counseling services for local services. We then walked over to the matatu (mini-bus) stand and took a bumpy ride to the rural town of Moi's Bridge. In Moi's Bridge we saw two of GEMINI's field sites including one for this project described below.
We arrived at a two story building where GEMINI has an office space for girls to learn baking skills. These girls had to leave school after becoming pregnant, and now are learning skills such as baking and sewing. One of the young ladies spoke very eloquently about the skills she learned and the difference it made in her life.
Afterwards we visited a project for grandmothers who are the primary caregiver for their grandchildren. The description of the visit is on that project's site.