Watoto Wote Wazuri

The Vision Self Help Group Of Dandora

Posted in AIDS in Africa, Kenya, KEST Women4Women, Nyumbani, poverty in Kenya by Lynn Ouellette on 01/15/2012

I have introduced you to one of the women’s artisan’s groups with whom we will be working in Kenya in the Women 4 Women Initiative. I thought I would take a break from my packing frenzy having accomplished the mission of having one duffel packed at a weight of 48 lbs  (just under the 50 lb limit) and no longer sitting in a sea of medical and art supplies, children’s socks and underwear, etc. I want to introduce another group, the Vision Self Help Group of Dandora. Dandora is another of the impoverished slum areas around Nairobi similar to Kibera. This group began almost ten years ago with the inspiration of Sister Little from Nyumbani Children’s Home. Sister Little who I had the pleasure of spending some time with during our last trip, including going to the slum with her, is like her name, little, but she is otherwise, despite not at all being a youngster, quite big on spunk and determination.Though she is supposed to be retired now, I hear she still shows up in Kibera to check out the Lea Toto Programs since they are her biggest devotion.

Sister Little with The 2010 KEST Adult Group and Nyumbani Children (anyone who makes me look tall has to be little!)

It was her idea to help this group of women, many of whom are HIV+,  all of whom have HIV+ children getting care from the Lea Toto Clinic of Dandora by assisting them in developing a skill which would lead them to be self sufficient and able to earn enough income to support thier families. She brought them together to support each other and helped them to learn the art of jewelry making, particularly beading. They work together, create together, have developed a tremendous sense of comraderie and share the income that they produce.  When we met with them last time I was struck by the support that they give to each other and how much they value creating together and felt a powerful connection because that process of creating together reminded me of my own women’s art group. As they each individually told us their own stories I was incredibly moved by their strenth, resiliency, devotion to their families and how they have taken their own hardship and used it to help others by doing such things as becoming AIDS advocates and community leaders. They were clearly a part of the inspiration for my poem about Kenyan women. They make lovely jewely and have increased the breadth of their ware by expanding into other items as well–I’ll be sure to take photos when we see them this time. And they, like many groups whom we met welcomed us with lovely song and dance which Im so looking forward to experiencing again.

Vision Self Help Project Women in their Stop AIDS, Malaria and TB.......and Obama Tees!

WE leave in JUST 4 more days!!



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