Mathare Valley, Nairobi, Kenya
Partner: Bright Hope International: 20

February 7, 2013 While only 10 widows participated in our first training session in Mathare Valley, the benefit to each of them was great. Yes, this was a challenging project. However, Mathare Valley is the poorest location where we have partnered. Through set backs and discouragements, the widows continued to show up. Sometimes that’s the greatest part of success--just showing up! Our Bright Hope partners were able to attend the graduation and reported that each graduate was transformed with pride in their new skill.

Celebrating after learning. MV1

Their displays of projects they completed demonstrated once again, that these widows are capable, willing to work hard, and sometimes simply need someone to come along side them helping them learn a skill.

The look of accomplishment  MV2Giving thanks  MV4



Brighter days ahead  MV3
Here are 3 interviews of women in the sewing program.

Judith
Wilfrida

Imagine the difference in these women's lives and the lives of their dependents when they graduate as a certified tailor. We’ll keep you posted.
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Judith

Born 6/7/1967
Date Widowed: 18/8/2004

Tell us about your family
?
I got married in 1983 and got three children between 1984 – 1992; after my husband died I did not get any support from my in-laws and have had to shoulder the burden of my children’s education.

What were the circumstances leading to your widowhood?
I got married in the year 1983, at that time I was working with orbit chemicals, I worked there for 6 years then moved on to Johnson & Johnson for two years then left to run my own small business of selling vegetables, my husband was then taken ill as from 2003, in 2004 he became very ill and passed on in august. From that time I have been struggling with my children, in the year 2007 when there were the post election clashes my vegetable shop was vandalized and burnt and I had to leave that business. Currently I cook for casual laborers at a church building site, the church however is almost being completed and I am thinking of ways to generate income when this happens.

Why are you interested in the widows sewing program?
The Casual Jobs I have been doing are short lives and I realize that if I gain a skill in sewing I will be able to start my own business which will be sustainable. When I gain the skill it will not matter where I will be, since wherever I will live I will only need to market myself and work with my own hands to gain a livelihood.

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What do you intend to do with the skill you will attain?
I intend to start my own business of making clothes for people, later on I hope to relocate to the country side where I can run my business and be able to build a house back in the rural which will be helpful for me and my children.

What would you say to those who made this program successful?
I would like to encourage them to continue supporting them; if possible I would request them to help us acquire machines when we complete the training so that we can work with our own hands to earn a living.

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Mary
D.O.B: 28
th/12/1966
Date Widowed: 24
th/05/06
Tell us about your family?
I have five children three who are past secondary education. Two are still in primary school, I also live with a nephew and niece, their father is chronically ill and therefore unable to take care of the children.
What were the circumstances leading to your widow- hood?
I got married in 1987 and had a happy marriage for 19 years, in the year 2006 my husband was taken ill and a kidney problem was detected, he was taken in to theatre for an operation but did not make it through ¸ he died after a sudden short illness.
What ministry do you serve in, in the church?
I host a bible study group every week in my house
Prayer request: I pray for the future of my children, my daughter Helen who just got married that God may give them a strong marriage. For my other Children that God may enable them to complete their education, I trust him for provision. I also pray that I may grow in my sewing skills so that I can use it to be economically self supporting.
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Why are you interested in the widows sewing program?
I am a very creative person and I thought if I could gain a skill in tailoring I could use it in a creative way to come up with admirable finished products that can be sold in the market. The proceeds thereof I could use to support my family.
What do you intend to do with the skill you will attain?
I would like to open my own income generating activity where I can tailor clothes for people as well as offer lessons for those in need of sewing skills
What would you say to those who made this program successful?
I would really thank them for using their resources to support widows in such a way. I pray God to bless them for all this support.

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Name: Wilfrida
D.O.B: 9/05/1965
Date Widowed: 19/10/2005

Tell us about your family.
I was married in August 1985 when I was 20 years at that time; I got 6 children by my late husband. Three of the children are adults now while the other three are still I school. I stay in the same house with all my six children, three grand children. My first born dropped out of high school due to teenage pregnancy and has never been able to complete her secondary education, my second also dropped out of school at primary 7 due to pregnancy.
What were the circumstances leading to your widowhood?
I am a second wife, in the year 2005 my husband was taken ill suffering from throat cancer, he suffered the disease for one year. The disease advance to an extent where he could not eat, he later died that that year.
After the burial I did not have a means of income but decided to come to Nairobi so as to find a job and take care of my children. I managed albeit with struggles to get a job as a cook at MCO in that same year. Two of my children Shem and Felix were partially supported by compassion and thus were able to go to school and this lightened my burden.
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What ministry do you serve in, in the church?
I am a deaconess in the church and I also serve in the women’s choir
Prayer request: I pray for my children, my eldest daughter Emily has been unwell, she has been suffering kidney problems, pray for her healing, I pray for my two sons Shem to complete his final secondary exams and excel, while for griffin that God may provide finances for him to go to college. I also pray that the lord will enable me to build a house back in the rural/countryside.
Why are you interested in the widows sewing program?
This program will be helpful for me to learn the skill so that I can run a sewing business and support my children through what I make. My hope is to be able to get a sewing machine then relocate to the rural area where I can run a business.
What do you intend to do with the skill you will attain?
I hope to start my own sewing business
What would you say to those who made this program successful?
I pray for them that God abundantly blesses them and the work of their hands since they have been a great blessing to us as widows.

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