In 2012 I attended the World Gathering of Friends in Kenya.
Prior to this gathering I went on a 5 day tour of Quaker sponsored women’s projects in Western Kenya organised by an American Friends organisation called Right Sharing of World Resources. These projects are based on the model of micro-enterprise and economic sustainability. Each project consists of between 15 and 30 women who each receive a grant of between €70 and €100 to start their own business. This grant is repaid with interest and via a revolving loan system is recycled within the community.
When I asked how starting a business had affected their lives, almost without exception the women answered “I can now feed and send my children (or “my grandchildren”) to school”.
I also spent a few days in Nairobi and visited a small primary school in one of the many slum areas of the city – bare brick walls, corrugated roof, no electricity, two small shelves of teaching materials for about 10 classes, no books for the children only copy books and very dedicated and enthusiastic teachers. These are the lucky children – they can go to school!
When I returned home I spoke with some seasoned Friends in Eustace St and was advised to bring my concern to Preparative Meeting which I did and subsequently Eustace St Meeting agreed to support me in my fund raising efforts. These efforts have so far included a monthly bake sale, a concert in St Werburgh’s Church and successful applications to different Quaker funds.
To date with a lot of help from various Friends, 3 different women’s projects have been funded in western Kenya:-
1) Matioli Friends Women Group;
2)Mugungu Friends Women Group ; and
3) Avakali Vo Vulavu Women Group.
For more information go to http://www.rswr.org
Photos courtesy of Right Sharing of World Resources
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