Caris Kenya targets young single mothers who are marginalized and live in poverty in the Malindi, Kenya area. We began with 60 desperate single mothers in 2008 due to a teenage pandemic along the coast of Kenya. Our youngest participant became pregnant when she was eleven and our oldest had seven children by age 24. We now have 2,309 participants in Caris Kenya programs, with 1,945 in the women's empowerment program. We also have 120 young adult orphans in the trades learning program and 119 youth being trained how to make better life choices and 125 men in the the Caris Men's program.
True transformation takes place when character and world view are changed. So our approach is holistic and not only aims to change poverty results and behavior but also aims to refocus the mindset and worldview that causes continued poverty. This begins by imparting faith, hope and love.
Sidi is an orphan and was widowed at a very early age of 24 years – left with twins. She almost lost her life in the hands of a traditional birth attendant during child bearing of the second set of twins. She survived with one of the babies.
Through micro finance training she was empowered to mobilize her community and formed 14 groups with a total membership of about 145 members. She is now a respected leader in her community, giving hope to many and currently earns $105 per month.
Saumu was an orphan with one child, unemployed, with no skills and struggling with life, solely depending on her grandmother who is a traditional medicine woman.
At the time of her son’s birth, she had only one piece of tattered cloth which she used as a diaper and had to refold the same to get drier sections for wrapping the baby before it became too wet for continued use.
Currently Saumu is earning her living through the skills received, able to educate her son.
Dama Thoya is now a self-reliant single mom who facilitates transformation in her community. She was illiterate, had no business skills, had medical complications and was under threats of losing her piece of land which she paid for partly and was unable to raise the balance to complete the payment.
Caris has empowered her with literacy skills and she is able to interpret her group reports. She started and leads three other groups on her own with coaching from the Caris staff.
Neema Karisa illustrates the effect of the empowerment program. She took a loan from her microfinance group to purchase calves and goats and raised them for market. Her goal was to start a dairy business so she took another loan and along with her profits purchased a registered Holstein cow worth $1000. Since then the cow has given birth and produces 11.5 liters of milk per day from which Neema is earning more income. Her name, Neema, means grace. She named the cow Rehema, meaning mercy.
Grace has been demonstrated.
Front Row Left to Right – Jane Mwaniki: Literacy and Knowledge Trainer; Angeline Mapenzi: Literacy and Knowledge Trainer; Alice Ruah: Life Skills Facilitator; Rose Fondo: Business and Economic Development Facilitator; Sarah Ziro: Agriculture Facilitator; Christopher Chengo: Savings and Loan Facilitator; Naima Mzee: Health Care and Compassion Facilitator; Margaret Kihara: Spiritual Formation Encourager; Jane Gitahi: Deputy Director Kenya
Back Row Left To Right – Muramba Thoya: Care Taker; Alex Mwangulu: Driver; Nathaniel Gona: Driver; Jim Reppart: International Facilitator for Kenya; Edward Nyiro: Agriculture Facilitator; Amos Karis: Tailoring Trainer; Judy Okello: Accountant; Moses Gona: Logistics Officer; Duncan Ziro: Orphaned Young Adult Mentor