Widows of Worth
Following KCP tradition, a large team of 48 were recently taken to Kenya to help with our projects. We can recall story after story journeying the amazing impact and transformation The KCP has been able to bring to so many people’s lives on a continual basis. Here is just one of those many stories:
Widows of Worth (WOW) is one of The KCP’s community transformation projects which works with widows in the rural areas of Kenya. Through this work, The KCP helps to restore a widow's self-worth and gives practical hope in what seems a hopeless situation. In Kenya when a woman is widowed they are seen as the lowest on the hierarchical chain of citizens. They are disqualified from the inheritance of their late husband’s land and belongings, and all of their assets go back to the husband’s family. As a consequence, widows are very often burdened with the responsibility of caring for their children with no funds whatsoever. This difficult situation often leads to women selling themselves out of desperation to provide for the basic needs of their children. Therefore by helping these widows, we are able to assist some of the most vulnerable children in the region within their families.
During the annual trip to Kenya in March our KCP Kenyan staff, alongside the 48 volunteers on the trip from England and America, ran a Widows of Worth event at our new land. We hosted 650 Widows, who came together from across the region of Kabras. This was an amazing time of bringing widows together from their local communities where we provided teaching on their worth and practical skills. We also provided a cooked meal for everyone, and had great fun together dancing and connecting, as well as celebrating their successes as a group. Our heart is to empower these women to be able to care for their own children and enable families to succeed. We have seen, and continue to see, amazing breakthrough as a result of seminars and training, run by our Social Care Team, who teach a range of life skills trainings, including topics such as budgeting, parenting, hygiene and healthcare.
We have also connected many hundreds of widows within local communities into self-help groups, many of whom were at this one day event. These groups provide a place for community support, and also training and life-skills input from our team. We currently have 13 groups of women regularly meeting together, providing much needed support, friendship and encouragement for each other. We have another 7 groups set to begin meeting in the next few months.
These groups also provide the structure for us to run various micro-finance schemes to help these women become self-sufficient, including table banking and our goat breeding project. We use our farm land to breed goats, and a pregnant goat is given to each self-help group. They raise the kid, which in turn, is given back to KCP, whilst the goat stays with the widow and continues to breed. Soon every widow in the group has a goat, with the group themselves choosing which person to give each goat to, starting with the most vulnerable in the group. In so many ways, we are helping these widows to help themselves, and this is proving incredibly effective. We can’t begin to anticipate the many hundreds of children who will have been impacted through these schemes!
We have loved being a part of and seeing the amazing transformation in these women’s lives. These widows support each other in such valuable ways, whilst actively bringing about positive change in their communities. These women are amazing!