HEART is seeking to fill the position of Deputy Executive Director who will gracefully succeed the beloved and respected Founder of the organization.
Meet Peris Ipato, one of the WEEP alumni. She lives in Ngong among the Maasai community who are herders. Peris was empowered with entrepreneurial skills during the sustainability phase in the WEEP program. She neatly beads the Maasai necklaces and sells them to the HEART lodge and other jewelry shops in the outskirts of Nairobi. Many clients love her beadwork because she uses high quality beads and does such a neat finish. “My grandmother taught me the art of beadwork. It’s passed from one generation to another,” she says.
The Jubilee Fellowship Church (JFC) mission team 2017 dedicated Frida Mkiwa’s newly constructed house in Lower Taita. The 42 year old Frida, separated and abandoned by her husband, is a graduate of the Women Equality and Empowerment Program (WEEP) 2016. She is a mother of two children; 16 year old Mathias Nyambu and 6 year old Rose Wambugha.
The three- roomed house which was constructed by resources raised by the Jubilee team will provide a safe abode for her young family. The day was filed with joy as the team sang praise songs and prayed for the house. The 14 women from the JFC team walked around the house and prayed for protection and provision for the family. They also donated a set of new bedding to Frida’s family.
“With the little resources I have, I never imagined that one day I will own a home. I’m so thankful for this gesture of love,” reiterated the ever smiling Frida.
Unlike the contemporary African tradition practices in some communities where the separated and abandoned women are neglected, Frida’s mother-in-law was compassionate and gave her the piece of land where the new house was constructed. This is a great relief for Frida who has been renting a house for about three years.
“The WEEP women care for each other. They conduct a needs assessment and choose who will be the next beneficiary of the proposed house building project,” echoed Alice Njoroge the WEEP coordinator.
Frida has over the years expressed interest in serving the community, majoring on prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission prevention (PMTCT) since she is one of the beneficiaries. Recently, she was appointed to attend a one week Government- sponsored training known as “Mentor Mothers” focusing on PMTCT.
Frida was enrolled to WEEP in 2012 and was trained on good nutrition, antiretroviral drugs adherence, living positively and entrepreneurship. She sews school uniforms, dresses and mosquito nets. Her vision is to become a leading wholesaler of uniforms and dresses in Taita County where she resides with her family.
Frida Mkiwa (middle) with her children; Mathias Nyambu (left) and Rose Wambugha (middle) at the three- roomed house under construction. | PHOTO CREDIT: Joyce Mwangi Date: 4 Sept 2017
Linn Asbury is in Nairobi at the moment and is helping the WEEP women with quality control and ideas on how to make unique products that will attract better prices.
The ladies have been keen to implement the skills taught by Linn thus there is an incredible growth in making new products that are stocked in the HEART gift shop and Linn’s networks in America. This has increased the women’s self- esteem and boosted their sales. The profits help the women provide food and shelter for their children as well as save some money in the Saving and Internal Lending Communities program in Kibera. In future, they will be able to lend some money to boost their businesses. We appreciate Linn for the good work!
The Gunton’s team comprised of four couples including the winners of the 2016 Auburn fundraising dinner.
The team of 8 interacted with Kibera WEEP graduates and newly enrolled women. The women shared their accounts of resilience and the transformation that the WEEP program has brought to their lives. The team members encouraged the ladies through Scriptures and spent more time with them over lunch. Each lady was given a food basket to take back home. It is always a joy to interact with the women who benefit from HEART’s projects!
The team travelled and met WEEP women from Taita Upper and Lower. They listened to their stories and gave them food baskets. On Sunday, they visited the Christian Harvest Church-Sechu to experience a village church service and meet the community. This is the church where Dr. Vickie Winkler got the vision to start HEART! The Gunton’s team also spent time with 45 children of the Taita WEEP women. They played games, made crafts, read Bible stories and took pictures which they later printed for each child.
In Nairobi, Dennis and Barbara Luther met with 11 staff children whose education they support. The children expressed their gratitude to the Luther’s for supporting their education and promised to work hard to reach their goals. They wrote down their dreams and attached their photos. “We will post these in one of the rooms in our homes and pray for you,” said Dennis Luther. The children also gave thank you notes and gifts to Dennis and Barbara. Dennis and Barbara Luther urged the children to pursue their goals.
We thank the Gunton’s team for the gestures of love to the women and children.
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