Train 120 Health & Human Rights promoters in Kenya

by Hope Foundation for African Women (HFAW)
Train 120 Health & Human Rights promoters in Kenya
Train 120 Health & Human Rights promoters in Kenya
Train 120 Health & Human Rights promoters in Kenya
Train 120 Health & Human Rights promoters in Kenya
Train 120 Health & Human Rights promoters in Kenya
Train 120 Health & Human Rights promoters in Kenya
Train 120 Health & Human Rights promoters in Kenya
Train 120 Health & Human Rights promoters in Kenya
Train 120 Health & Human Rights promoters in Kenya
Train 120 Health & Human Rights promoters in Kenya
Train 120 Health & Human Rights promoters in Kenya
Train 120 Health & Human Rights promoters in Kenya
Train 120 Health & Human Rights promoters in Kenya
Train 120 Health & Human Rights promoters in Kenya
Train 120 Health & Human Rights promoters in Kenya
Train 120 Health & Human Rights promoters in Kenya
Train 120 Health & Human Rights promoters in Kenya
Train 120 Health & Human Rights promoters in Kenya
Train 120 Health & Human Rights promoters in Kenya
Train 120 Health & Human Rights promoters in Kenya
Train 120 Health & Human Rights promoters in Kenya
Train 120 Health & Human Rights promoters in Kenya
Jane explaining how she rescued a girl from cut
Jane explaining how she rescued a girl from cut

Dear Friends, Colleagues and Supporters,

Like many Kenyan women, Nyamira women are submissive mothers and wives who can bear a lot of burdens and pains that come with life. Many peasant women think that they have no power to change anything and that only men can make decisions that drive the direction of the family and community. This attitude has changed with the women who have undergone the HFAW trainings and popular education and social change communication.

In the video Jane (see link below) is sharing with the GlobalGiving fellow Mike who visited us in April 2017. Jane shares about how she and her fellow community health worker, the groups chairperson, were given work by the County Commissioner and they could not get their payment. Because of the strength and advocacy skills gained “we went to the County Commissioner and asked why we were not paid…he heard our voices and we were paid” Said Jane. In the past these women could not have had the courage to speak up.

These women are the same ones going into schools and churches and advocating against the cut for the girl child. In a recent conversation with Jane during our women leaders training Jane shared how she rescued a girl from the cut. Here is Jane’s positive story.

“I had undergone training with HFAW about the dangers of FGM.  I took the message seriously. I went back home and told my neighbors about the dangers of FGM and about the Anti – FGM Law and the consequences of carrying out the cut.

My neighbors were aware of the same and knew how serious I am in ending FGM. And some of them have stopped cutting girls. Many people in my neighborhood know that I will take action of I hear of anyone trying to cut a girl. We went through schools with anti-FGM messaging with the other community health and rights workers and we could see that the girls and boys were listening but we did not have a clear sense of how children behaved when someone wanted to cut them by force.  It was not long before one of the girls came running to my house at night and explained that she is just about to be cut.

I stepped up and told the girl to stay put in my house. She had to stay in my house for a while as she was afraid to go back home. Through HFAW, I had learnt that in such a situation, one is not supposed to take the parents straight to the police. We have to educate first and then take action when they disregard. So I arranged a meeting with the parents and the school headmaster at the girl’s school. I then educated the parents about the Anti FGM Law and the consequences of carrying out the cut. I told them that this was a warning and that if they tried again, they would face the consequences with the relevant authorities. I took care of the girl the best way I could and now she is in Laboso Secondary School after her completed her grade eight. This girl has not been threatened with the cut from her parents.

It is an understatement when we say that you are changing lives. It is a big deal for a woman to gain her voice and stand up for what she believes in. None of these is possible without your support. Many of them have shared with us about how they demand to be paid back when husbands borrow their money. That the program has changed gender relations at their homes is priceless. We invite you to continue sharing information with your friends and family about HFAW and its empowering work that is transforming lives. These women could not do what they do in their community without continuous capacity building.

Are you still searching for a perfect gift for Mothers' Day Next Month? We invite you to make this perfect gift which is...Your Donation to honor these mothers!

Thank you for supporting this cause.

Sincerely and with gratitude,

Grace Mose-Okong’o

Jane keen on SCC capacith building
Jane keen on SCC capacith building
Aunty Jane with boys  in small group sessions
Aunty Jane with boys in small group sessions
Group photo of CHHRP after SCC training
Group photo of CHHRP after SCC training

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Rael in her cereal kiosk explaining its benefits
Rael in her cereal kiosk explaining its benefits

Dear Friends, Colleagues and Supporters,

FGM/C’s persistence can be explained by the solid structural inequalities facing rural women. The feminization of poverty due to inability for women to develop their own social-economic independence coupled with the stringent direct and indirect socialization that indoctrinates women to believe that they must be dependent on men gives them absolutely no options. We believe that an anti-FGM agenda that does not address structural gender inequalities is doomed to fail. HFAW’s finance and entrepreneurship trainings and provision of affordable credits to women is aimed at addressing these inequalities as a powerful step towards ending FGM.

Finance literacy workshops do help women to begin economic generating activities beyond the merry go rounds they used to engage in. Access to affordable loans helps them to boost their businesses. This report gives examples of how HFAW makes contact with rural women in sometimes hard to reach villages where women have to sit under trees to learn and listen to how they can access our services. Most of the original women such as Rael do have income generation businesses while others are now just hearing about our services. This report documents little bit of their voices.

Before access to HFAW Fund loans Kerubo used to sell beans and millet at Gesima, the local market near her home. When she heard about HFAW Fund, she and four other women joined to form ‘Riverside” women group. In this group, they saved and she qualified to get a loan of $204, so far the highest among the loans HFAW has given. Commenting on how the loan has helped her she said “The loan has boosted my business, I am now able to go to visit large town markets.  Every Tuesday and Friday, I take cereals to Kericho market and on Saturdays, I sell at Mulot market. I have also been able to get a tender to supply the cereals to a nearby school since I can now afford to deliver more foodthan before tot his school.”

Mong’ina and Damaris also members of the “Riverside” group used to sell tomatoes and vegetables at the local market. When they got a loan of $192, they are now able to not only sell their goods at a larger market in Keroka but have also diversified their sales to selling mitumba (second hand clothes).

The second group that was visited was “Nyagokeria”. Ndege, a member of the group testified that her income has increased since she got a loan from HFAW Fund “ I am now able to buy more “Mang’ereto” (tea leaves) from farmers than I used to do before. My supply of the tea leaves to the tea factory has increased and that means more income for me.’ Rael is pleased to share knowledge of how she sends cereals to big towns. “This Fund means a lot to me.” Says Rael who owns a cereal shop and a small restaurant at Amakara shopping center.

 “These women are hardworking and determined and I admire their zeal.” Said HFAW field Officer, Ruth Nyakundi. HFAW however has a certain level of concern that many women are on the waiting list for loans because our small fund can only cater for a small number of women.

Finance workshops and acess to credits project was financed by International Methodist Women and a small portion from  global giving. Our partner and friends, we recognise with thanks that the continued  positive changes in womens access to loans and finance literacy workshops could not happen without your hand in it as well us that from our donors such as Methodist women. Thank you for your continued support.

Sincerely, and with Gratitude

Teresiah Gitau

HFAW Project Manager

HFAW CEO & Finance literacy expert, addressing wom
HFAW CEO & Finance literacy expert, addressing wom
Carol and CEO speaking about fund
Carol and CEO speaking about fund
Women acces loans in groups as collateral
Women acces loans in groups as collateral
Finance expert Laban speaking about loan procedure
Finance expert Laban speaking about loan procedure
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Model farmer giving his dairy farming story
Model farmer giving his dairy farming story

Rural Women Take First steps from a “way of life” type of farming to Agribusiness

Empowering women requires a holistic approach to the challenges. To help women abandon FGM, structural gender inequalities must also be addressed. It is for this reason that HFAW provides economic empowerment strategies such as trainings not only in finance and entrepreneurship literacy but also best practices in farming.

We are excited to report that our community women took their first step in learning how to transform themselves from practicing animal husbandry as a way of life to becoming dairy farmers. This happened on October 16th to 18 when 25 of these committed women from 4 villages locally known as wards, embarked on a two day workshop with a local agricultural officer followed by a real life trip to the actual farm to view the process of dairy farming.

During the training the facilitator started from what the trainees know i.e. how and what they currently practice in their dairy farming in terms of breeding, feeding and marketing dairy products. The facilitator quoted the bible story ‘ When Moses was in the desert and requested God to give them water, he was asked by God to use the stick he was holding in his hand to strike a stone and get water for the Israelites. This was meant to encourage the women who wondered where to get new breeds to realize that they can use their current breeds of cattle to set short term goals to get better breeds.

The first day of the training elicited the following sentiments during an evaluation session in the evening. “ I am going to sell some of my cows and remain with one’ said Boke one of the trainees as she explained that she has learnt that she has a large head of cattle which does not give back earnings that break even with what she offers in terms of feed and treatment vs. sales from milk.

Another participant expressed how he was going to apply the knowledge and skills gained with the following statement, ‘Previously we used to give porridge to our calves incase the mother died but now we have learnt how to make colostrum using local resources’ said Daniel a trainee from Esise Ward.

The women were also trained on how to improve economic gains from dairy farming through value addition and diversification of milk from their cows. ‘I did not know I can make cooking oil with cream from my milk’ said Kwamboka after they were taught how to add value and diversify products from their milk.

Knowledge on feeding was also given to transform the farmers’ usual way of feeding according to the type of feed available. The practice has not been economical especially when there are cases of drought.‘ I am going to start preserving feed for my cows since I have known that preserved fodder and forage means continued flow of feed throughout the year and availability of feed for my cows means continued flow of milk and income too’ said Martha during feedback session.

The trainees were also taken for a field trip to see the things they were taught in class being applied in real life. At the end of the trip, the trainees had the following to say……‘I feel encouraged by Mr. Livingstone who started with a local cow which was worthless but with continuous work in improving her he has made a lot of gains. “This man has never been employed but see what he is doing, said Nyamusi from Mekenene village.

Another trainee inspired by the way the model farmer was using cow dung to produce biogas had this to say …… ‘I saw Mr. Livingstone use biogas for cooking. I was surprised he has used it since 2010. I am going to save and invest in such since we have a problem of firewood in our area yet I didn’t know my cows can be a source of energy too’ said Caren, one of HFAW grassroots leadership member.

The training also involved county livestock officers from the 4 wards that the farmers come from. They were also resourceful and will be involved in follow up among the farmers. ‘From what the county livestock officer taught us, I discovered that I should never have sold my calves but instead would have sold their mother since the offspring is always a better breed. I also saw how I will partition my zero grazing unit into feeding area, milking area, water point, sleeping area and feed storage area’ said Beatrice from Kiabonyoru Ward.

Two of the trainees gave their status before and after the field trip…one said…‘Before I came for this training I did not know anything about culling my livestock but now I know and I am going to do it. I also did not know that I should keep the tube I used for inseminating my cows for future referral with the veterinarian but now I know it is good to generally keep farm records’ said Nyangeri from Esise Ward.

The second trainee said that “It is after I came for this training that I understood why one day a veterinarian came to treat my cow and did not want to touch the dead calf with his hands. I now know that the cow was suffering from brucellosis and one is not supposed to get contact with the animal with bare hands” said Damaris from Nyansiongo Ward

The facilitator ended the session after guiding the group on how to register it with the social services office. This was a request by the trainees themselves who saw the need to do so. ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together’ the facilitator encouraged them with this inspirational African quote about the value of teamwork in a group.

Dear Friend, colleague and partner, you have supported some of our projects which have allowed us to grow to reach these breakthroughs. We continue to seek your advice and support. The trainees require consistent technical assistance and support and additional trainings, mentoring and guidance to be able to realize positive outcomes. None of these can happen by our own effort. We invite you to consider making a donation and to send a request note to your friends and family. Tell them about this cause and why you care. Together we can improve lives of rural people through economic empowerment on best practices.

Mr. Livingstone demonstrating biogas production
Mr. Livingstone demonstrating biogas production
Written feedback from trainees
Written feedback from trainees
Fresian and Jersey breeds of cows during field tri
Fresian and Jersey breeds of cows during field tri
Einray, livestock officer answering questions
Einray, livestock officer answering questions
Trainees sharing experiences in group session
Trainees sharing experiences in group session
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Karen Introducing HFAW During a Visit by GG staff
Karen Introducing HFAW During a Visit by GG staff

Women in Leadership: HFAW Grassroots Chairpersons’ Story

“I am Caren N. Ratemo, a Christian and Kenyan woman from Kisii. I am married to Tom Nyakundi and we are blessed with four children. I am a survivor of FGM and the current Hope Foundation for African Women (HFAW) grassroots chairperson.

My first encounter with HFAW was when I was invited as a woman leader by our area Member of County Assembly (MCA) to attend a launching forum of the organization i.e. HFAW on 2nd April 2014 at Kijauri market, Borabu Sub County, Nyamira County, Kenya. On that day, I arrived early and was among the first people at the venue. I found the women preparing the venue with the support of men to erect tents and arranging chairs.

The day started well with educative presentations against FGM. When time came for Dr. Grace to present, I admired the way she was dressed. Moreover, her story moved me and after the event, I approached her and introduced myself. I requested if I could join the Popular Education training she mentioned that would start at Matutu Adventist Church after the launch.

Luckily, she honoured my request and joining the class of 30 CHRRP’s became one of the highest moments of my life. I liked the training; it was touching our personal lives issues and the community at large. I was a church leader, health promoter and Maendeleo ya Wanawake (Women And Development) leader in our Sub County by then. After the training, I said I must apply the knowledge in all the areas under my administration and jurisdiction.

For sure before I got the training, I had suffered in my marriage for over 20 years. My husband who is a teacher by profession had joined a group of peers whom they would drink alcohol throughout after his classes. I can generally say he never used to take care of his family; even paying rent for the house we lived in was difficult.

I decided as a woman was going to shut him out psychologically and bring up my children like a single mother who is married at the same time. I started a hotel business where I could raise money from and take care of my family including him. It was difficult to ask him whether he was paid and where he took his money. I could not dare ask such questions since they had previously warranted me to sleep out of our house plus a terrible beating.

As a Kisii woman, it was not easy to tell even my neighbor what I was undergoing. I decided to keep quiet and endure the hardship with hope that one day it will end. The cycle of violence repeated itself until I went through the Popular Education training through HFAW. It opened up my eyes, I realized I have rights that I can stand with, and dialogue with husband on what is right to do as well as what is wrong.

From then on, my husband changed for the better, using the skills I gained from the training, I talked with him and he became supportive. I slowly applied what we were trained through actions to guide him to understand that women too are equal partners in a family. He stopped overindulging in alcohol and opted to advance his education. He attended my graduation after Popular Education training and has been supporting me in the various leadership positions I get in my community. He now even shares what he gets in terms of finances. I thank our supporters because through them, most lives of women have changed. Moreover, through the women, more people’s lives have been positively influenced through the outreaches we do in churches, schools and markets."

Dear partner, HFAW as a non-profit has been working with women through empowering them on human rights, economic empowerment, self-advocacy skills and knowledge on how to end FGM. We are grateful for your continued support that will see more women come out of poverty and gender based violence. We also appeal for your kind donation towards this project. You previously made positive change possible; together we can transform communities!

Karen during Child Protection Outreach in School
Karen during Child Protection Outreach in School
Karen during Popular Education Graduation 2014
Karen during Popular Education Graduation 2014
Karen During International Womens' Day 2017
Karen During International Womens' Day 2017
Karen during Community Church Outreach 2017
Karen during Community Church Outreach 2017

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Gladys (right) at a KEWOPA FGM conference
Gladys (right) at a KEWOPA FGM conference

 ‘My name is Gladys Nyasuguta Nyariki from Borabu Sub County and this is my story, as an FGM survivor. For the longest time I had been quiet about the impact of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) on women including myself. I suffered a great deal in silence.

I went through this harmful practice at age 9. I later got married but had many difficulties giving birth. The doctors told me during the birth process of my first born that, my birth canal was not dilating as expected and that this was due to effects of the FGM I had undergone. My muscles were scarred and unable to naturally expand during birthing process. This forced the doctors to do a major episiotomy that could not heal for a very long time.

Back at home my own husband did not understand so we had a major problem in our intimate life. I had to deal with it myself since my husband did not understand me. The level of trauma and frustration was unbearable. The social stigma that came from community members because of my situation cannot be put to words. I was devastated.

However, asked the doctors to speak with my husband and explain that what was happening was not my fault but a situation arising from the FGM practice that I had undergone at my childhood. There was deep counseling from the doctors who explained to him the depth of the trauma, the physical and mental issues I was undergoing and what he needed to do to be supportive. Fortunately, he understood the situation and from then on was supportive. He even supported my schooling at Nairobi University to study FGM in relation to women’s health and community development.

After school, I was lucky to receive advocacy skills and training using Popular Education Model from Hope Foundation for African Women (www.hopefaw.org) and other community programs. The most recent one was Social Change Communication (SCC) skills to end FGM gained from a recent The Girl Generation (TGG), (www.thegirlgeneration.org) training.

I have also had big moments as I advocate for FGM eradication. Apart from being an Anti-FGM ambassador in my home ground schools, churches and market forums, this year alone I was invited to share my story at Kenya Women Parliamentarians (KEWOPA) regional conference in Nairobi with PLAN International. Recently, I was invited to share with council of elders at West Pokot on how to end FGM. I facilitated a declaration for them to identify the FGM as a major issue as well as create avenues for dialogue on the way forward to help the community abandon FGM. This gives me hope that a child will be saved from this practice and that FGM may end in one generation. Furthermore, now equipped with SCC skills of ‘Do No Harm’ as they have proved to be most effective, I feel more confident to continue advocating against the practice of FGM and that FGM can end in one generation.’

NB: Dear partners, Gladys’ story is just but one out of themore than 50 positive stories of change we have in our work, however, this could not have been possible without your support. Thank you!

Gladys with clan elders in West Pokot to EndFGM
Gladys with clan elders in West Pokot to EndFGM
Gladys at school outreach on FGM and child abuse
Gladys at school outreach on FGM and child abuse
Gladys with Anti-FGM messages at a market event
Gladys with Anti-FGM messages at a market event
Gladys during 2017 International Women's Day
Gladys during 2017 International Women's Day
Gladys feedback during Popular Education training
Gladys feedback during Popular Education training
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Organization Information

Hope Foundation for African Women (HFAW)

Location: Nairobi, Kiambu County - Kenya
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @HFAW2015
Project Leader:
Dr. Grace Bonareri Mose Okong'o
Nairobi, Nairobi County Kenya
$15,486 raised of $25,000 goal
 
236 donations
$9,514 to go
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