A mother’s love is one of the most powerful forces on the planet. Sadly in Kenya it’s often trumped by poverty – grinding hardship, so extreme and so crippling, that single mothers are forced onto the streets with their children.
One Horizon works to step in before this happens. We understand the Kenyan circumstances, including cultural issues and family structures, that leave these women with no resources and little hope. When we bring them under the One Horizon umbrella, we give them the opportunity to create new lives for themselves and their families.
There are several ways our women’s empowerment programs work to break the generational cycle of disadvantage that these women were born into.
For starters we enrol the mothers in our Vocational and Lifestyle Training diploma course. This is an 18-month holistic program that addresses all facets of their situation from poverty and health issues to providing them with skills so they can start their own small businesses.
During this time we support the women financially so that they are able to feed and house themselves and their children. Without this stress, they are able to focus on their studies.
When they graduate they set up small enterprises as seamstresses and candle or mosquito net makers. The Masai women in our program start jewellery businesses and other mothers open bars or supply much-needed fresh water.
One Horizon’s support also continues after they graduate. We help our budding entrepreneurs with their budgeting and connect them with potential customers through our networks. We also purchase their products which are relevant to our various sustainable programs.
Importantly we also offer them housing for four years, but we’re happy to say that most of our amazing Mums cease to require our housing long before the four years is up. Many are able to buy their own homes and some even create new income streams by selling and selling lands.
Our women’s empowerment programs prove that poverty can be solved and generational cycles of disadvantage can be broken. One of our key priorities with our One Horizon work is to keep families together – we ensure this happens during our programs until the mothers become independent, They they are able to provide their children with resources, including education, so they can create their own sustainable futures.
If you have a spare day in Nairobi, you can be part of forging this change by joining us on our One Horizon Empowering Mothers one-day people safari – you can see what we do here. If you’d like to find out more about our women’s empowerment and community programs, please click here.