project kenya news
ThrEE SUCCESS STORIES
Meet three wonderful women from Kibera that we are supporting.
Winnie, High schooler, 15
Winnie’s dad abandoned the family leaving the mom as the sole breadwinner of 4 children. But it hasn’t stop Winnie to become a taekwondo champion, a talented artist, and an extremely dedicated student. Last year, her scores on the national primary school exams earned her a spot in one of the top high schools in Kenya. This was a dream come true but the costs of attending boarding school were financially out of reach for her mom who cleans houses in Kibera.
We met Winnie in Kibera when she was 11 years old and were astonished by her determination to succeed. During the pandemic, we started to establish a very close relationship with her through art zoom sessions. We decided to sponsor her high school education. Thanks to Project Kenya, she packed her luggage and started high school in January.
Access to quality education means everything to students in Kibera. It gives them a chance to get a better future. The list of high school students and university students in need of sponsorship is very long. Project Kenya works in collaboration with Uweza Sponsorship Programs to follow the student academics and wellbeing.
Founder and Executive Director of Passion to Share Foundation, Kokomelon Daycare and Miyo Créations
Lydia was brought to Warm Hearts Children’s Home, an orphanage that supports needy students in Kibera slums – Nairobi, at the age of 14. Before that, she lived in utmost poverty and abuse from stepmothers and an alcoholic and violent dad. The orphanage found a sponsor to pay for her education and she finished High School with success in 2010. She then graduated from Tangaza College in 2014 where she completed a Bachelor of Arts in Social Communication with honors.
In 2017, she decided to launch Passion to Share Foundation with a mentorship program for girls born or living with HIV that she had met in rural Kenya and in Nairobi slums. But realizing the high level of unemployment and challenges of young mothers, she established a skills center offering vocational training in Kibera to support teenage girls struggling with early pregnancy. In 2021, she started Kokomelon, a daycare to welcome the babies of the young mothers following the skills program. Despite their thirst for skills training, there was no space where to leave their children. Lydia discovered that some mothers would leave them to play the whole day outside with no surveillance, while others opted to lock the kids inside the houses by themselves even at early age. Kokomelon daycare welcomes children from the age of 4 months to 5 years old.
In 2022, Passion to Share developed its own brand called Miyo’s Creation to give young mothers a marketing platform to promote their own products and earn a living. Recently, Lydia established Genowa (Hope in Luo language), a table banking program to allow young mothers to save and take interest-free loans for business startup or development.
Lydia is very passionate about helping young women lacking means and networking to be able to become financially independent.
Thanks to Project Kenya, she participated in March to a UN meeting led by Make Mother Matter to advocate for Young Mothers.
Purity Juma, Young Mother, Creator of Curie Creations
Purity is a single mother to a beautiful child called Teija Janelle. Purity was married but underwent a lot of torture in her teenage marriage. When the Passion To Share Foundation reached out, she was at the verge of giving up. She had tried all sorts of casual jobs to provide for her daughter. She was however passionate about Fashion and Design and have always wished for an opportunity to come her way. Purity joined PSF in January 2022 and completed the foundation vocational course in Fashion in July 2022. She had the idea of starting her own brand but didn’t know how to do it being the sole caretaker of her little girl. As she could not afford yet to pay the nursery school fees, she decided to stay home to take care of her daughter.
When Project Kenya learnt about her difficulties, we decided to pay Janelle school fees at Kokomelon School and Daycare, which is one of the best preschools in Kibera slum.
After the support from Project Kenya, Purity has been able to maximize her potential. She enhanced her own brand ‘Curie Creations’(@curie_creations) and has attracted lots of clients with her creative pieces. She recently also got a part time job as a fashion design trainer in one of the local organizations in Kibera.